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^. /^^ <^. 




POPULAR RHYMES 



Ain> 



NURSERY TALES. 



LATELY PUBLISHKD, 

Ropal IBmOi with 38 Duigns by W. B. Scott> Director of the School of Design, 
Newca*tle^n-Time, bound in illuminated cloth, is, 6d. 

THE NURSERY RHYMES OF ENGLAND, 

COLLECTBS CHIS7LT PBOIC OBAL TRADXTIOIT. 

BY JAMES ORCHARD HALLIWELL, ESQ. 

TOUSTH EDITION. 



POPULAE EHYMES 



AND 



NURlSERY TALES: 



A 8BQUBL TO TKB 



^urderp 3Sif)^mtii of (t^sIatOr^ 



BY 



JAMES ORCHARD HALLIWELL, ESQ. 



LONDON : 

JOHN RUSSELL SMITH, 

4, OLD COMPTON STREET, SOHO SQUARE. 

VDCCCXLH^. 



Tales of my Nursery ! shall that still loYed spot, 

That window comer, ever be forgot. 

Where through the woodbine when with upward ray 

Gleam'dthe last shadow of departing day. 

Still did I sit, and with unwearied eye. 

Head while I wept, and scarcely paused to sigh ! 

In that gay drawer, with fairy fictions stored. 

When some new tale was added to my hoard. 

While o'er each page my eager glance was flung, 

'Twas but to learn what female .fate was sung; 

If no sad maid the castle shut from light, 

I heeded not the giant and the knight. 

Sweet Cinderella^ even before the ball, 
How did I love thee — ashes, rags, and all ! 
What bliss I deem'd it to have stood beside. 
On every virgin when thy shoe was tried ! 
How long'd to see thy shape the slipper suit ! 
But, dearer than the slipper, loved the foot. 

Anon.' 



% 



PREFACE. 



It were greatly to be desired that the instructors of 
oar children could be persuaded how much is lost by 
rejecting the yenerable relics of nursery traditional 
literature^ and substituting in their place the present 
cold, unimaginative, — I had almost said, unnatural, — 
prosaic good-boy stories. "In the latter case," ob- 
serves Sir Walter Scott, '* their minds are, as it were, 
put into the stocks, like their feet at the dancing-school, 
and the moral always consists in good conduct being 
crowned with success. Truth is, I would not give one 
tear shed over Little Red Hiding Hood for all the benefit 
to be derived from a hundred histories of Jemmy 
Groodchild. I think the selfish tendencies will be soon 
enough acquired in this arithmetical age ; and that, to 
make the higher class of character, our own wild fictions 
—like our own simple music — will have more efiect in 
awakening the fancy and elevating the disposition, than 
the colder and more elaborate compositions of modern 
authors and composers." 

Deeply impressed with this truth, and firmly con- 



TIU PBEPACE. 

vinced of the ** imjigiiiatioii-noniMhing ** power of the 
wild and fiincif ol lore of the old nursery, I have spared 
no labour in collecting the fragments which have been 
traditionallj preserved in onr provinces. The object is 
not so mncb to present to the reader a few literary 
trifles, though even their cniiosity and valae in seyeral 
important discussions must not be despised, as to rescue 
in order to restore; a solemn recompense due from 
literature for having driven them away ; and to recall 
the memory to early associations, in the hope that they 
who love such recollections will not suffer the objects 
of them to disappear with the present generation. 

In arranging the materials gathered for this little 
volume, I have followed, in some respects, the plan 
adopted by Mr. Robert Chambers, in his elegant work, 
the Popular Rhymes of Scotland ; but our vernacular 
anthology will be found to contain so much which does 
not occur in any shape in that of the sister country, 
that the two collections have not as much similarity as 
might have been expected. Together, they will eventu- 
ally contain nearly all that is worth preserving of what 
may be called the natural literature of Great Britain. 
Mr. Chambers, indeed, may be said to have already ex- 
hausted the subject for his own land in the last edition 
of his interesting publication, but no systematic attempt 
has yet been made in the same direction for this country; 
and although the curiosity and extent of the relics 



^^^mmmmmm^^mmt^immmmmmamm 



PSSTAOB. IX 

I have been enabled to collect biaTe far exceeded my 
expectationB, I am follj aware bow mncb more can yet 
be accompliabed. An additional number of foreign 
synonymes could also no doubt be collected; though 
perhaps more easily by foreigners, for Continental works 
which contain notices of traditional literature are pro- 
cared with difficulty in England. The following pages, 
boweyer, contsin sufficient of these to exhibit the 
striking similarities between rhymes prevalent oyer 
EngUind, and others which exist in the North of 
Europe. 

The collection of Nursery Tales is not as extensive as 
could have been wished, but the difficulty of procuring 
the brief traditional stories which were current some 
century since, now for the most part only recollected in 
obscure districts, is so great, that no apology is neces- 
sary for the apparent deficiency of that section. The 
few which have been obtained are of considerable 
curiosity and interest ; and I would venture to suggest 
to all readers of these pages the great obligation they 
would confer by the communication of any additions. 
Stories of this kind are undoubtedly to be obtained from 
oral tradition, and perhaps some of literary importance 
may yet be recovered. 

The compiler's best thanks are due to Captain 
Henry Smith for the very interesting communication of 



S PBEFACJS. 

rhymes current in the Isle of Wight ; to Mr. George 
Stephens for several cuiions fragments^ and Taluahle 
references to Swedish songs; and to many kind cor- 
respondents who have famished me with rhymes cur-> 
rent in the various districts in which they reside. It 
is only hy a large provincial correspondence that a 
collection of this kind, can he rendered complete, and 
the minutest information on any of our popular tales 
or rhymes, forwarded to the address given below, would 
be most thankfully and carefully acknowledged. 

Brixton Hill, Surrey ; 
Jpril, 1849. 



XI 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

NT7BSEB.T ANnQTJITIES . . .1 

FisEsiDE NimsERY Stobies . . . 24 

Game-Khymes ..... 101 

ALFHABET-E.HrB^S . . . . . 136 

Eji)diiE-E.hymes ..... 141 

Natuee-Songs . . . . . 155 

Peoyebb-Khymes .... 181 

Places uny Eamilies . . . . 188 

Supebstition-Ehymes .... 206 

Custom-Rhymes . . . . . 230 

nubseby-songs . .258 



E&RATUM.^-P. 181y 1. 2bf for itn read ecrri. 



POPULAE, RHYMES 



AND 



NURSERY TALES. 



I.— NURSERY ANTIQUITIES. 

Although the names of Scott and Grimm may be 
enumerated amongst the writers who have acknowledged 
the ethnological and philosophic value of traditional 
nursery literature, it is difficult to impress on the public 
mind ike importance of a subject apparently in the last 
degree trifling and insignificant, or to induce an opinion 
that the jingles and simple narratives of a garrulous 
nurse can possess a worth beyond the circle of their 
own immediate influence. 

But they who despise the humbler sources of literary 
iQustration must be content to be told, and hereafter to 
learn, that traces of the simplest stories and most ab- 
surd superstitions are often more effectual in proving 
the affinity of different races, and determining other 
literary questions, than a host of grander and more 
imposing monuments. The history of fiction is con- 
tinually efficacious in discussions of this kind, and the 
identities of puerile sayings frequently answer a similar 
purpose. Both, indeed, are of high value. The humble 
chap-book is found to be descended not only from me- 
dieval romance, but also not unfrequently from the 
more ancient mythology, whilst some of our simplest 
nursery-rhymes are chanted to this day by the children 
of Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, a fact strikingly 
exhibiting their great antiquity and remote origin. 

1 



2 NUE8ERY ANTIQUITIES. 

The subject^ however curious and interesting, is far 
too diffuse to be investigated at any length in a work 
like the present ; and, indeed, the materials are for the 
most part so scattered and difficult of access, that it 
would require the research of many years to accomplish 
the task satisfactorily. I shall, then, content myself 
with indicating a few of the most striking analogies 
between the rhymes of foreign countries and those of 
our own, for this portion of the inquiry has been 
scarcely alluded to by my predecessors. With regard 
to the tales, a few notices of their antiquity will be 
found in the prefaces or notes to the stories themselves, 
and few readers will require to be informed that 
Whittington's cat realized his price in India, and that 
Arlotto related the story long before the Lord Mayor 
was bom ; that Jack the Giant-killer is founded on an 
Edda ; or that the slipper of Cinderella finds a parallel 
in the history of the celebrated Bhodope. To enter 
into these discussions would be merely to repeat an oft- 
told tale, and I prefer offering a few notes which will be 
found to possess a little more novelty. 

Of the many who must recollect the nursery jingles 
of their youth, how few in number are those who have 
suspected their immense age, or that they were ever 
more than unmeaning nonsense; far less that their 
creation belongs to a period before that at which the 
authentic records of our history commence. Yet there 
is no exaggeration in such a statement. We find the 
same trifles which erewhile lulled or amused the English 
infant, are current in slightly varied forms throughout 
the North of Europe ; we know that they have been 
sung in the northern countries for centuries, and that 
there has been no modern outlet for their dissemination 
across the German Ocean. The most natural inference 
is to adopt the theory of a Teutonic origin, and thus 
give to every genuine child-rhyme, found current in 
England and Sweden, an immense antiquity. There is 



NUKSERY ANTIQUITIES. 3 

nothing improbable in the supposition, for the preserva- 
tion of the relics of primitive literature often bears an 
inverse ratio to their importance. Thus, for example, 
a well-known English nursery rhyme tells us, — 

There was an old man, 
And he had a calf, 

And that's half; 
He took him out of the stall. 
And put him on the wall, 

And that's all. 

A composition apparently of little interest or curiosity ; 
but Arwidsson, unacquainted with the English rhyme, 
produces the following as current in Sweden, Svenska 

Fomsanger, iii. 488, which bears far too striking a 
similarity to the above to have had a different origin, — 

Gnbben och gmnman hade en kalf, 
Och nu ar yisan half I 
Och begge sa korde de halfven i vail, 
Och nu ar visan all ! 

We could not, perhaps, select a better instance of 
this kind of similarity in nepial songs as current 
throughout the great northern states of Europe than 
the pretty stanza on the ladybird. Variations of this 
familiar song belong to the vernacular literature of 
England, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. The ver- 
sion at present current in the North of England is as 
follows : 

Lady-cow, lady-cow, flv thy way home. 
Thy house is on fire, thy children all gone; 
All but one that ligs under a stone. 
Fly thee home, lady-cow, ere it be gone !* 

• In Norfolk the lady-bird is called hurnp-bee» and the following lines 
are current : 

Burnie bee, burnie bee, 

Tell me when your wedding be. 

If it be to-morrow day, 

Take your wings and fly away. 



4 NUESERY ANTIQUITIES. 

These lines are said by children, when they throw the 
beautiful little insect into the air, to make it take flight. 
Two Scottish variations are given by Mr. Chambers, 
p. 1 70. In Germany it is called the Virgin Mary's chafer, 
Marienwurmcheriy or the May-chafer, Maik'dferchen, or 
the gold-bird, Guldvogel, In Sweden, gold-hen, gold- 
cow, or the Virgin Mary's maid. In Denmark, our 
Lord's hen, or our Lady's hen. We may first mention 
the German song translated by Taylor as frequently 
alluded to by writers on this subject. The second verse 
is the only one preserved in England. 

Lady-bird ! lady-bird ! pretty one ! stay ! 
Come sit on my firxger, so happy and gay ; 

With me shall no mischiei betide thee ; 
No harm would I do thee, no foeman is near, 
I onlywould gaze on thy beauties so dear. 

Those beautiful winglets beside thee. 

Lady-bird ! lady-bird ! fly away home ; 
Thy house is a-fire, thy children wiU roam ! 

List ! list ! to their cry and bewailing ! 
The pitiless spider is weaving their doom. 
Then, lady-bird ! lady-bird ! fly away home ! 

Hark ! hark ! to thy children's bewailing. 

Fly back agaia, back again, lady-bird dear ! 
Thy neighbours will merrily welcome thee here ; 

With them shall no perils attend thee ! 
They'll guard thee so safely from danger or care. 
They'll gaze on thy beautiful winglets so fair, 

And comfort, and love, and befriend thee ! 

In Das Knaben Wunderhorn, Arnim und Brentano, 
1808, iii. 82, 83, 90, we have three German songs re- 
lating to the lady-bird. The first two of these are here 
given: 

Ber Guldvogel. 

Guldvogel, flieg aus, 
Mieg auf die Stangen, 
Kasebrode langen; 
Mir eins, dir ems, 
Alle gute G'sellen eins. 



NUKSEEY ANTIQUITIES. 5 

" Gold-bird, get thee gone, fly to thy perch, bring 
cheese-cakes, one for me, one for thee, and one for all 
good people." 

Maikaferchen, Maikaferchen, fliege weg ! 
• Dein Hausgen brennt, 

Dein Mutterchen flennt, 

Dein Vater sitzt auf der Schwelle, 

Plieg in Himmel aos der HoUe. 

" May-bird, May-bird, fly away. Thy house burns, 
thy mother weeps, thy father stays at his threshold, fly 
from hell into heaven !" — The third is not so similar to 
our yersion. Another German one is given in Kuhn 
und Schwark, Norddeutsche Sagen, 1848, p. 375 : 

Maikaferchen, fliege, 
Dein Vater ist im &iege, 
Dein Matter ist in Pommerland, 
Pommerland ist abgebrannt ! 
Maikaferchen, fliege. 

"May-bird, fly. Thy father is in the war, thy 
mother is in Pomerania, Pomerania is burnt! May- 
bird, fly." — See, also, Erk und Irmer, Die Deutschen 
Volkslieder, Berlin, 1839, iv. 7, Das Maikaferlied. For 
the two pretty Swedish songs which follow I am in- 
debted to the MS. of Mr. Stephens. The first is com- 
mon in the southern parts of that country, the other in 
the northern. 

Guld-hona, gald-ko ! 

Flyg oster, nyg vester, 
Dit an flyger der bor din alskade ! 

" Gold-hen, gold-cow ! fly east, fly west, you will fly 
where your sweetheart is." 

Jungfni Marias Nyckelpiga ! 

Plyg oster, fly^ vester, 

Elyg dit der min karesta bor !* 

* This is a very remarkable coincidence with an English rhyme : 

Fly, lady-blrd, fly ! 

North, south, east, or west; 
Fly to the pretty girl 
That I love best. 



XURSEKT ANXiaOTIES. 



«1 



¥\j, our holy Yirgm's bow)n--iiiaid! fly east, fly west, 
fly where my loved-one dwelieth." In Denmark they 
sing (Thiele, in. 134) : 

FIt, At, our Lord's own hen ! 
To-morrow the weather fair will be. 
And eke the next day too.* 

AccomnliitiTe tales are of very high antiquity. The 
original of '* the House that Jack fiuilt" is wcdl Imown to 
he an old Hehrew hymn in Sepher Haggadah. It is 
also found in Danish, hut in a somewhat shorter form ; 
(See Thiele, Danske Folkesagn, II. iii. 146, Der har du 
del Huu8 sam Jacob hygde ,-) and the English version is 
prohahly yery old, as may he inferred from the mention 
of '^ the priest all shaven and shorn." A version of the 
old woman and her sixpence occurs in the same collec- 
tion, II. iv. 161, Konen och Grisen Fick, the old wife 
and her pig^ Fick, — " There was once upon a time an 
old woman who had a little pig hight Fick, who would 
never go home late in the evening. So the old woman 
said to her stick : 



* Stick, beat Fick, I say ! 
Piggie will not go home to-day !' 



y» 



This chant-tale is also common in Sweden. One 
copy has been printed by N. Lilja in his Violen en 
Samling Jullekar, Barnsanger och Sagor, i. 20, Gossen 
och GetenNappa, the boy and the goat Neppa, — "There 
was once a yeoman who had a goat called Neppa, but 
Neppa would never go home from the field. The yeo- 
man was therefore forced to promise his daughter in 
marriage to whoever could get Neppa home. Many 
tried their fortune in vain, but at last a sharp boy 
offered to ward the goat. All the next day he followed 
Neppa^ and when evening came, he said, * Now will we 

* The lady-bird, observes Mr. Chambers, is always connected with fine 
weather in Germany and the north. 



KURSEBY ANTIQUITIES. / 

homeward go V but Neppa answered, * Pluck me a tuft 
or 80,'" &c. The story is conducted in an exactly 
similar manner in which the denouement is brought about 
in the English tale.* 

The well-known song of "There was a lady lov*d a 
swine," is found in an unpublished play of the time of 
Charles I. in the Bodleian Library, MS. Bodl. 30 : 

There was a lady lov'd a hogge ; 

Hony, auoth shee, 
Woo't thou lie with me to-night ? 

Ugh, quoth hee. 

A similar song is current in Sweden, as we learn from 
Arwidsson, Svenska Fornsanger, iii. 482, who gives a 
version in which an old woman, who had no children, 
took a little foal, which she called Longshanks, and 
rocked and nursed it as if it had been her own 
child :f 

Gumman ville vagga 
Och inga bam nade hon ; 

Da tog hon in 

Folungen sin, 
Och lade den i vaggan sin. 
Vyssa, vyssa, langskanken min, 

Langa ben har du ; 
Lefver du till sommaren, 
Blir da lik far din. 

Another paradoxical song-tale, respecting the old 
Woman who went to market, and had her petticoats cut 
off at her knees "by a pedlar whose name was Stout," 

* Two other variations occur in Arwidsson, Svenska Fornsanger, 1842, 
iii> 387-8, and Mr. Stephens tells me he has a MS. Swedish copy entitled 
the Schoolboy and the Birch. It is also well known in Alsace, and is 
printed in that dialect in StOber's filsassisches Volksbiichlein, 1842, pp. 93-6. 
Compare, also, Kuhn und Schwark, Norddeutsche Sagen, M^rchen und 
G«brauche, 1848, p. 368, " Diefr&, dos hippel un dos hlndel." 

t It is still more similar to a pretty little song in Chambers, p, 188, com- 
"aeadng, «* There was a miller's dochter." 



8 NURSERY ANTiaUITIES. 

is found in some shape or other in most countries in 
Europe. A Norwegian version is given hy Asbjomsen 
og Moe, Norske Folkeeventyr, 1843, and, if I recollect 
hghtly, it is also found in Grimm. 

The riddle-rhyme of "Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall" 
is, in one form or other, a favorite throughout Europe. 
A curious Danish version is given by Thiele, iii. 148 : 

LiUe TriUe 

Laae paa Hylde ; 

LiUe Trille 

Taldt ned af Hylde. 

Ingen Mand 

I hele Land 

Lille Trille curere kaa. 

Which may be thus translated : 

Little TriUe 

Lay on a shelf: 

Little TriUe 

Thence pitch'd himself : 

Not all the men 

Li our land« I ken, 

Can put Little Trille right again. 

And Mr. Stephens has preserved two copies in his 
MS. Swedish collections. The first is from the pro- 
vince of Upland : 

ThiUe LiUe 

Satt pH take' ; 
ThiUe LiUe 

TriUa' ner ; 
In^en lakare i hela verlden 
ThiUe LiUe laga kan. 

ThUle LUle 

On the roof-tree sat ; 
ThUle LUle 

Down f eU flat ; 
Never a leech the world can show 
That ThUle LUle can heal, I trow. 

Another from the province of Smaland : 



NURSEEY ANTIQUITIES. 9 

Lille Bulle 
Trilla' ner a skulle ; 
In^en mau i detta Ian' 
Lille Eulle laga kan. 

■ Down on the shed 
Lille Bulle rolled ; 
Never a man in aU this land 
Lille Bulle helpen can. 

It will now only be necessary to refer to the similari- 
ties pointed out in other parts of this work, to convince 
the reader that, at all events, a very fair case is made 
out for the truth of the positions we have contended for, 
if, indeed, sufficient evidence of their absolute truth is 
not adduced. They who are accustomed to researches 
of this kind, are too well aware of the facility with 
which the most plausible theories are frequently nullified 
hy subsequent discovery ; but there appears in the pre- 
sent case to be numerous conditions insoluble by any 
other supposition than that of a common origin, and we 
are therefore fully justified in adopting it as proved. 

Turning to the nursery rhymes of our own country, 
it will tend materially to strengthen the results to which 
we have arrived, if we succeed in proving their antiquity 
in this island. Wis shall be enabled to do so satisfactorily, 
and to show that they are not the modem nonsense 
some folks may pronounce them to be. They illustrate 
the history and manners of the people for centuries. 
Here, for instance, is a relic in the form of a nursery 
rhyme, but^ln reality part of a political song, referring 
to the rebellious times of Richard the Second.* 

My father he died, I cannot tell how. 
But h^'left me six horses to drive out my plough ! 
With/ a wimmy lo ! wommy lo ! Jack Straw, hlazey-hoyi ! 
Wiip(^y lo ] wommy lo ! wob, wob, wob ! 

* I jfln here» and in a few other cases, quoting from myself. It may be 
necesapy to say so, for my former collections on this subject have been 
appdfiriated—'* convey, the wise it call "—in a work by a learned Doctor, 
thd^face to which is an amusing instance of plagiarism. 




10 XTESBRT ANTiaUITIES. 

An infimt of the nineteenth oentoiy leaJIing oar recol- 
lection to Jack Straw and his " blaiey-boys !" Far 
better this than teaching history with notes ** soited to 
the opacity of the yonngest." Another refers to Joanna 
of Casdle, who visited the court of Heniy the SeTcnth 
in 1506 : 

I had a littb nnt-treey nothing would it bear 
Bat a ^Iden nntmeg and a suYer pear ; 
The l^ing of Spam's daughter came to visit me. 
And all rar the sake of my little nnt-trce. 

We have distinct evidence that the well-known 
rhyme,* 

The King of France went np the hiD, 

With twenty thousand men: 
The l^iwg of FTsause came down the hiD, 

And ne'er went np again — 

was composed before 1588. It occurs in an old tract 
called Pigges Corantoe, 1642, where it is entitled " Old 
Tarlton's Song," referring to Tailton the jester, who died 
in 1588. The following one belongs to the seventeenth 
century: 

As I was going by Charinff Cross, 
I saw a black man npon a black horse ; 
They told me it was King Charles the First ; 
Oh dear, my heart was r^y to burst ! 

Political nnrsery-^hymesy or rather political rhymes 
of a jingling character, which, losing their original ap- 
plication, are preserved only in the nursery, were pro- 
bably common in the seventeenth century. The two 
just quoted have evidently an historical application. 
The manuscript miscellanies of the time of James I. and 
Charles I. contain several copies of literal rhymes not 
very unlike "A, B, C, tumble-down D." In the reign 

* An early varfation occurs In MS. Sloane 1489: 

The king of France, and four thousand men. 
They drew their swords, and put them up again. 



NUE8ERY ANTIQUITIES. 1 1 

of Charles IL political pasquinades constantly partook 
of the genuine nursery character. We may select the 
following example, of course put into the mouth of that 
sovereign, preserved in MS. Douce 357, f. 124, in the 
Bodleian Library : 

See-saw, sack-a-day ; 
Monmouth is a pretie boy, 

Bichmond is another, 
Grafton is my onely joy. 
And why should I these three destroy 

To please a pious brother ? 

"What is the rhyme for porringer?" was written on 
occasion of the marriage of Mary, the daughter of 
James Duke of York, afterwards James II., with the 
young Prince of Orange : and the following alludes to 
WiUiam III. and George Prince of Denmark : 

William and Mary, George and Anne,' 
Four such children had never a man : 
They put their father to flight and shame. 
And call'd their brother a shocking bad name. 

Another nursery song on King William is not yet 
obsolete, but its application is not generally known 
My authority is the title of it in MS. Harl. 7316 : 

As I walk'd by myself. 
And talked to myself. 

Myself said unto me. 
Look to thyself. 
Take care of thyself, 

For nobody cares for thee. 

I answer'd myself. 
And said to myself 

In the self-same repartee. 
Look to thyself. 
Or not look to thyself. 

The self-same thing will be. 

To this class of rhymes I may add the following 



12 N UESERY ANTIQUITIE S . 

on Dr. Sacheverel, which was obtained from oral tra- 
dition : 

Doctor Sacheverel 

Did very well. 

But Jacky Dawbin 

Gave him a warning. 

When there are no allusions to guide us, it is only by 
accident that we can hope to test the history and an- 
tiquity of these kind of scraps, but we have no doubt 
whatever that many of them are centuries old. The 
following has been traced to the time of Henry VI., 
a singular doggerel, the joke of which consists in saying 
it so quickly that it cannot be told whether it is English 
or gibberish : 

In fir tar is, 

In oak none is. 

In mud eel is. 

In clay none is. 

Goat eat ivy. 

Mare eat oats. 

*' Multiplication is vexation,'' a painful reality to 
schoolboys, was found a few years ago in a manuscript 
dated 1570; and t^e memoritd lines, "Thirty days hath 
September," occur in the Return from Parnassus, an 
old play printed in 1606. Our own reminiscences of 
such matters, and those of Shakespeare, may thus have 
been identical ! " To market, to market, to buy a 
plum-bun," is partially quoted in Florio's New World 
of Words, 1611, in V. 'Abomba.' The old song of the 
" Carrion Crow sat on an Oak," was discovered by me 
in MS. Sloane 1489, of the time of Charles I., but 
under a different form : 

Hie, hoc, the carrion crow, 

Eor I have shot something too low : 

I have quite missed my mark. 

And shot the poor sow to the heart ; 

"Wife, bring treacle in a spoon. 

Or else the poor sow's heart will down. 



NURSE AY ANTIQUITIES. 13 

'' Sing a song of sixpence" is quoted by Beanmont 
and Fletcher. "Buz, quoth the blue fly," which is 
printed in the nursery halfpenny books, belongs to Ben 
Jonson's Masque of Oberon ; the old ditty of " Three 
Blind Mice'' is found in the curious music book entitled 
DenteromelisL, or the Second Part of Musicke's Melodic, 
1609 ; and the song, " When I was a little girl, I wash'd 
my mammy's dishes," is ^ven by Aubrey in MS. Lansd. 
231. "A swarm of bees in May," is quoted by Miege, 
1687. And so on of others, fn^ments of old catches 
and popular songs being constantly traced in the appa- 
rently unmeaning rhymes of the nursery. 

Most of us have heard in time past the school address 
to a story-teller : 

Liar, liar, Hck dish, 

Turn about tlie candlestick. 

Not very important lines, one would imagine, but they 
explain a passage in Chettle's play of the Tragedy of 
Hoffman, or a Revenge for a Father, 4to. Lond. 1631, 
which would be partially inexplicable without such 
assistance : 

Lor. By heaven ! it seemes hee did, but all was vaine ; 
The flinty rockes had cut his tender scull. 
And the rough water wash't away his raine. 

Luc. Lyer, Iyer, Iicke dish ! 

The intention of the last speaker is sufficiently intelli- 
gible, but a future editor, anxious to investigate his 
author minutely, might search in vain for an explana- 
tion of Iicke dish. Another instance * of the antiquity 
of children's rhymes I met with lately at Stratford-on- 
Avon, in a MS. of the seventeenth century, in the col- 
lection of the late Captain -James Saunders, where, 
amongst common-place memoranda on more serious 

* A dance called Hej/, diddle, diddle, is mentioned in the play of King 
€ambites, written about 1561 , and the severiil rhymes commencing with those 
words may have been original adaptations to that dance>tune. 

2 



14 NURSEEY ANTiaUITIES. 

sabjects, written about the year 1630, occurred a ver- 
sion of one of our most favorite nursery songs : 

I had a Httle bonny nagg, 

His name was Dapple Gray ; 
And he would bring me to an ale-house 

A mile out of my way. 

" Three children sliding on the ice" is founded on a 
metrical tale published at the end of a translation of 
Ovid de Arte Amandi, 1662.* The lines^ 

There was an old woman 

Liv'd under a hiU, 
And if she ben't gone. 

She lives there still — 

form part of an old catch, printed in the Academy of 
Complements, ed. 1714, p. 108. The same volume 
(p. 140) contains the original words to another catch, 
which has been corrupted in its passage to the nursery : 

There was an old man had three sons. 
Had three sons, had three sons ; 
There was an old man had three sons, 

Jeffery, James, and Jack. 
Jeffery was hang'd and James was drown'd. 
And «fack was lost, that he could not be foimd. 
And the old man fell into a swoon, 

Por want of a cup of sack ! 

It is not improbable that Shakespeare, who has alluded 
so much and so intricately to the vernacular rural htera- 
ture of his day, has more notices of nursery-rhymes and 
tales than research has hitherto elicited. I am only 
acquainted with one reference to the former. " Pillicock 
sat on Pillicock hill," which is quoted by Edgar in 
King Lear, iii. 4, and is found in Gammer Gurton's 
Garland, and in most modern collections of English 
nursery-rhymes. The secret meaning is not very deli- 
cate, nor is it necessary to enter into any explanation 

* See the whole poem in my Nursery Rhymes of England, ed. 1842, 
p. 19. 



NUESERY ANTIQUITIES. 15 

on the subject. It may, however, be worthy of remark, 
that the term pillicock is found in a manuscript (Harl. 
913) in the British Museum of the thirteenth century. 

English children accompanied their amusements with 
triyial verses from a very early period, but as it is only 
by accident that any allusions to them have been made, 
it is difficult to sustain the fact by many examples. The 
Nomenclator or Eemembrancer of Adrianus Junius, 
translated by Higins, and edited by Fleming, 8vo. 1585, 
contains a few notices of this kind ; p. 298, '^ fiaaiKivha^ 
the playe called one penie, one penie, come after me ; 
Xvrpivhay the play called selling of peares, or how many 
plums for a penie; p. 299, xoivot^iKivba^ a kinde of 
playe called 

Clowt, clowt. 

To beare about, 

or my hen hath layd ; urotrrpaKiafiosy a kind of sport or 
play with an oister shell or a stone throwne into the 
water, and making circles yer it sinke, &c. ; it is called, 

A ducke and a drake. 
And a halfe penie cake/' 

This last notice is particularly curious, for similar verses 
are used by boys at the present day at the game of water- 
skimming. The amusement itself is very ancient, and 
a description of it may be seen in Minucius Felix, Lugd. 
Bat. 1652, p. 3. There cannot be a doubt but that 
many of the inexplicable nonsense-rhymes of our nursery 
belonged to antique recreations, but it is very seldom 
their original application can be recovered. The well- 
known doggerel respecting the tailor of Bicester may be 
mentioned as a remarkable instance of this, for it is one 
of the most common nursery-rhymes of the present day, 
and Aubrey, MS. Lansd. 231, writing in the latter part 
of the seventeenth century, preserved it as part of the 
formula of a game called leap-candle. "The young 
girls in and about Oxford have a sport called Leap- 
Candle, for which they set a candle in the middle of the 



16 NUB8EEY ANTIQUITIES. 

room in a candlestick, and then draw up their coats into 
the form of breaches, and dance over the candle back 
and forth, with these words : 

The tailor of Biciter, 

He has but one eye, 
He cannot cut a pair of green galagaskins. 

If he were to oie. 

This sport in other parts is called Dancing the Candle 
Rush J' It maybe necessary to observe ih&t ffolagashins 
were wide loose trousers. 

The rhyme of Jack Homer has been stated to be a 
satire on the Puritanical aversion to Christmas pies and 
suchlike abominations. It forms part of a metrical 
chap-book history, founded on the same story as the 
Friar and the Boy, entitled " The Pleasant History of 
Jack Homer, containing his witty tricks, and pleasant 
pranks, which he played from his youth to his riper 
years: right pleasant and delightful for winter and 
summer's recreation," embellished with frightful wood- 
cuts, which have not much connexion with the tale. The 
pleasant history commences as follows : 

Jack Homer was a pretty lad. 

Near London he did dwell. 
His father's heart he made full glad. 

His mother lov'd him well. 
While httle Jack was sweet and young, 

If he by chance should cry. 
His mother pretty sonnets sung. 

With a lui-la-ba-by. 
With such a dainty curious tone. 

As Jack sat on ner knee. 
So that, e'er he could go alone. 

He sung as well as she. 
A pretty boy of curious wit. 

All people spoke his praise, 
And in the comer woula he sit 

In Christmas holydays. 
When friends they did togetlier meet. 

To pass away the time— 



NUaSEEY ANTIQUITIES. 17 

Wliy* little Jack, lie sure would eat 

His Christmas pie in rhyme. 
And said. Jack Homer, in the comer. 

Eats good Christmas pie. 
And with his thumbs pulls out the plumbs. 
And said. Good boy am I ! 
Here we have an important discovery! Who before 
suspected that the nursery-rhyme was written by Jack 
Homer himself? 

Few children's rhymes are more common than those 
relating to Jack Sprat and his wife, '* Jack Sprat could 
eat no fat/' &c. ; but it is little thought they have been 
current for two centuries. Such, however, is the fact, 
and when Howell published his collection of Proverbs 
in 1659) p. 20, the story related to no less exalted a 
personage than an archdeacon : 

Archdeacon Pratt would eat no fatt, 

His wife would eat no lean ; 
'Twixt Archdeacon Pratt and Joan his wife. 
The meat was eat up clean. 
On the same page of this collection we find the com- 
mencement of the rigmarole, " A man of words and not 
of deeds," which in the next century was converted into 
a burlesque song on the battle of Culloden ! * 

* The foUowing nursery game, played by two girls, one personating the 
mistress and the other a servant was obtained from Yorkshire, and may be 
interpreted as a dialogue between a lady and her Jacobite maid : 

La^, Jenny, come here ! So I hear you have been to see that man. 

Maid, What man, madam ? 

Ladjf, Why, the handsome man. 

Maid, Why, madam, as I was a-passing by, 

ThiiUcing no harm, no not in the least, not 1, 

I did go in. 

But had no ill intention in the thing, 

For, as folks say, a cat may look at a king. 
JUufy. A king do you caU him ? You rebellious slut ! 
Maid* I did not call him so, dear lady, but— 
Lady. But me none of your buttings, for not another day 

Shall any rebel in my service stay : 

I owe you twenty shillings— there's a guinea ! 

Cro, pack your clothes, and get about your business, Jenny. 

2§ 



18 NURSERY AMTiaUITIES. 

Double Dee Double Day, 
Set a garden full of seeds ; 
When the seeds began to grow, 
If s like a garden full of snow. 
When the snow began to melt. 
Like a ship without a belt. 
When the ship began to saU, 
Like a bird without a tail. 
When the bird began to fly. 
Like an eagle in the sky. 
When the sky began to roar. 
Like a lion at the door. 
When the door began to crack. 
Like a stick laid o er my back. 
When my back began to smart. 
Like a penknife in my heart. 
When my heart began to bleed. 
Like a needleful of thread. 
When the thread began to rot. 
Like a turnip in the pot. 
When the pot began to boil. 
Like a bottle full of oil. 
When the oil began to settle. 
Like our Geordies bloody battle. 

The earliest copy of the saying, " A man of words and 
not of deeds/' I haTC hitherto met with, occurs in MS. 
Harl. 1927, of the time of James I. Another version, 
written towards the close of the seventeenth century, 
but unfitted for publication, is preserved on the last leaf 
of MS. Harl. 6580. 

Many of the metrical nonsense-riddles of the nursery 
are of considerable antiquity. A collection of conun- 
drums formed early in the seventeenth century by 
Bandle Holmes, the Chester antiquary, and now pre- 
served in MS. Harl. 1962, contains several which have 
been traditionally remembered up to the present day. 
Thus we find versions of " Little Nancy Etticoat in a 



NUBSEBY ANTiaUlTIES. 19 

white petticoat," " Two legs sat upon three legs," " As 
round as an apple," and others.* 

Daring the latter portion of the seventeenth century 
numerous songs and games were introduced which were 
long rememhered in the English nursery. '' Questions 
and Commands" was a common game, played under 
yarious systems of representation. One hoy would 
enact king, and the subjects would give burlesque an- 
swers, e» g. : 

K. King I am ! 

/SI I am your man. 

JT. What service will you do ? 

S, The best and worst, and all I can ! 

A clever writer in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1 738, 
says this was played during the Commonwealth in ridi- 
eule of sovereignty ! He humorously adds, continually 
quoting games then current: ** Daring all Oliver's time, 
the chief diversion was, ^The parson hath lost his fud- 
dling-cap,' which needs no explanation. At the Resto- 
ration succeeded love-games, as ' 1 love my love with an 
A,' a ' Flower and a lady,' and * I am a lusty wooer ;' 
changed in the latter end of this reign, as well as all 
King James II.'s, to * I am come to torment you.' At 
the Revolution, when all people recovered their liberty, 
the children played promiscuously at what game they 
liked best. The most favorite one, however, was ' Puss 
in the comer.' " The same writer also mentions the 
game of '* I am a Spanish merchant." 

The following nursery-rhyme is quoted in Parkin's 
Reply to Dr. Stukele/s second number of the Origines 
Roystonianse, 4to. 1748, p. 6, but I am not aware that 
it is still current : — 

* A. vast number of these kind of rhymes have become obsolete, and old 
manuscripts contain many not very intelligible. Take the following as a 
specimen ; 

Ruste duste tarbotell, 

Bagpipelorum hybatteU.— Af5. HarU 7332, xvij. cent: 



20 NUBSEBY ANTiaUITIES. 

Peter White will ne'er go right. 
And would you know the reason why P 

He follows his nose where'er he goes. 
And that stands all awry. 

The tale of "Old Mother Hubbard " is undoubtedly 
of some antiquity, were we merely to judge of the 
rhyme of latighing to coffin in the third verse.* " There 
was an old woman toss'd up in a blanket" is supposed 
to be the original song of '' Lilliburlero, or Old Woman, 
whither so high ?" the tune to which was published in 
1678.f "Come, drink old ale with me," a nursery 
catch, with an improper meaning now lost, is found in 
MS. Harl. 7332, of the seventeenth century. " Round 
about, round about, magotty-pie," is probably as old, 
magot-pie being an obsolete term for a magpie. For a 
sinular reason, the antiquity of " Here am I, little Jump- 
ing Joan," may be inferred. Jumping Joan was the 
cant term for a lady of little reputation.;]: The well- 
known riddle, "As I was going to St. Ives," occurs in 
MS. Harl. 7316, of the early part of the last century; 
and the following extract from Poor Robin's Almanack 
for 1693, may furnish us with the original of the cele- 
brated ballad on Tom of Islington, though the latter 
buried his troublesome wife on Sunday : "How one saw 
a lady on the Saturday, married her on the Sunday, she 
was brought to bed on the Monday, the child christned 
on the Tuesday, it died on the Wednesday, was buried 
on the Thursday, the bride's portion was paid on the 
Friday, and the bridegroom ran clear away on the 
Saturday !" 

The antiquity of a rhyme is not unfrequently deter- 

* The first three verses are all the original. The rest is modem, and 
was added when Mother Hubbard was the first of a series of eighteen-penny 
books published by Harris. 

t Chappell's National Airs, p. 89. 

X Beaumont and Fletcher, ed. Dyce, viii. 176. The tune of Jumping 
Joan is mentioned in MS. Harl. 7316, p. 67. 



NURSERY ANTIQUITIES. 21 

mined by the use of an obsolete expression. Thus it 
may be safely concluded that the common nursery ad- 
dress to the white moth is no modem composition^ from 
the use of the term dustipoll, a very old nickname for 
a miller^ which has long fallen into disuse : 

Milleiy, millery, dustipoll, 
How many sacks have you stole ? 
Four and twenty and a peck : 
Hang the miller np by his neck ! 

The expression is used by Robin Goodfellow in the old 
play of Grim, the Collier of Croydon, first printed in 
1662^ but written considerably before that period : 

Now, miller, miller, dustipole, 
ril dapper-claw your jobbemole !* 

A very curious ballad, written about the year 1 720, 
in the possession of Mr. Crofton Croker, establishes 
the antiquity of the rhymes of ** Jack-4i-Dandy," "Boys 
and girls come out to play," "Tom Tidler's on ttie Friar's 
ground,*' "London bridge is broken down," "Who 
comes here, a grenadier," and " See, saw, sacradown," 
besides mentioning others we have before alluded to. 
The baUad is entitled, " Namby Pamby, or a Panegyric 
on the New Versification^ addressed to A. F., Esq." 

Nanty Panty, Jack-a-Dandy, 
Stole a piece of sngar-candy. 
From the grocer^s shoppy shop, 
And away did hoppy hop. 

In the coarse of the ballad, the writer thus introduces 
the titles of the nursery rhymes, — 

Namby Pambys double mild, 
Once a man, and twice a child; 

* " Oh> madam, I will give you the keys of Canterbury/* must be a 
very ancient song, as it mentions chopines, or high coric shoes, and appears, 
from another passage, to have been written before the invention of bell- 
pulls. The obsolete term delve, to dig, exhibits the antiquity of the rhyme 
" One, two, buckle my shoe.'* Minikin occurs in a rhyme printed in the 
Nursery Rhymes of England, p. 145 ; coif, ibid. p. 150 ; snaps, small Arag- 
meou, ibid. p. 190 ; moppet, a little pet, ibid. p. 193, &e. 



22 NURSERY ANTIQUITIES. 

To his hanging sleeves restor*d. 
Now he fools it like a lord ; 
Now he pumps his little wits 
All by little tiny bits. 
Now, methinks, I hear him say, 
Boys and girls, come out to play. 
Moon do's shine as bright as day : 
Now my Namby Pamby's* found 
Sitting on the Friar's ground. 
Picking silver, picking gold, — 
Namby Pamby's never old ; 
Bally-cally they begin, 
Namby Pamby still keeps in. 
Namby Pamby is no clown — 
London Bridge is broken down ; 
Now he courts the gay ladee. 
Dancing o'er the Lady Lee : 
Now he sings of Lickspit Liar, 
Burning in the brimstone fire ; 
Lyar, lyar, Lickspit, lick. 
Turn about the candlestick. 
Now he sings of Jacky Homer, 
Sitting in the chimney comer. 
Eating of a Christmas pie. 
Putting in his thumb, oh ! fie ! 
Putting in, oh ! fie, hiis thumb. 
Pulling out, oh ! strange, a plumb ! 
Now he acts the grenadier. 
Calling for a pot of beer : 
Where's his money P He's forgot — 
Get him gone, a drunken sot ! 
Now on cock-horse does he ride. 
And anon on timber stride, 
Se and saw, and sack'ry down, 
London is a gallant town ! 

This ballad is a very important illustration of the 
history of these puerile rhymes, for it establishes the 

* Namby Pamby Is said to have been a nickname for Ambrose Phillips. 
Another ballad, written about the same time as the above, alludes to the 
rhyme of ** Goosy Goosy» Gander." 



NURSERY ANTiaUITIES. 23 

fact that some we might aptly consider modem are at 
least more than a century old ; and who would have 
thought such nonsense as, 

Who comes here ? 
A grenadier ! 
What do you want ? 
Apot of beer ! 
Where's your money ? 
I've forgot ! 
Get you gone. 
You drunken sot ! 

could have descended in all its purity for several gene- 
rations, eyen although it really may have a deep meaning 
and an unexceptionable moral ? 

Having thus, I trust, shown that the nursery has an 
archaeology, the study of which may eventually lead to 
important results, the jingles and songs of our child- 
hood are defended from the imputation of exclusive 
frivoHty. We may hope that, henceforth, those who 
have the opportunity will not consider it a derogatory 
task to add to these memorials. But they must hasten 
to the rescue. The antiquities of the people are rapidly 
disappearing before the spread of education ; and before 
many years have elapsed, they will be lost, or recorded 
only in the collections of the antiquary, perhaps re- 
quiring evidence that they ever existed. This is the 
latest period at which there is a chance of our arresting 
their (hsappearance. If, unfortunately, the most valuable 
relics of this kind are wholly lost, many, doubtlessly, 
remain in the remote districts sufficiently curious to 
reward the collector ; and it is to be hoped they will 
not be allowed to share the fate of Wade and his boat 
Guingelot. 



24 



IL— FIRESIDE NURSERY STORIES. 

The efforts of modem romance are so greatly supe- 
rior to the best fictions of a former age, that old wives' 
tales are not so readily tolerated as they were in times 
past. We question whether any one in these days, 
save a very grave antiquary, could read two chapters 
of the Morte Arthure without a yawn. Let us^ then, 
turn to that simpler class of narratives which be&rs the 
same relation to novels that rural ballads do to the 
poem ; and ascertain whether the wild interest which,, 
in the primitive tales erewhile taught by nurse, first 
awakened our imagination, can be so reflected as to 
render their resuscitation agreeable. We rely a good 
deal for the success of the experiment on the power of 
association ; for though these inventions may, in their 
character^ be suited to the dawn of intellect, they not 
infrequently bear the impress of creative fancy, and 
their imperceptible influence over the mind does not 
always evaporate at a later age. 

Few persons, indeed, there are, even amongst those 
who affect to be insignificantly touched by the imagi- 
nation, who can be recaUed to the stories and carols 
that charmed them in their childhood wholly without 
emotion. An affectation of indifference in such matters 
is, of course, not unusual, for most thoughts springing 
from early associations, and those on which so many 
minds love to dwell, may not be indiscriminately di- 
vulged. It is impossible they should be generally ap- 
preciated or understood. Most of us, however, are 
liable to be occasionally touched by allusions breathing 
of happy days, bearing our memories downward to be- 
hold the shadows of joys that have long passed away 
like a dream. They now serve only " to mellow our 
occasions," like that "old and antique song" which 
relieved the passion of the Duke Orsino. 



FTBESIDE STORIES. 25 



TKENY-TINY.* 



Once upon a time there was a teeny-tiny woman lived 
in a teeny-tiny house in a teeny-tiny village. Now, one 
day this teeny-tiny woman put on her teeny-tiny bonnet, 
and went out of her teeny-tiny house to take a teeny- 
tiny walk. And when this teeny-tiny woman had gone 
a teeny-tiny way, she came to a teeny-tiny gate ; so the 
teeny -tiny woman opened the teeny-tiny gate, and went 
into a teeny-tiny churchyard. And when this teeny- 
tiny woman had got into the teeny-tiny churchyard, she 
saw a teeny-tiny bone on a teeny-tiny grave, and the 
teeny-tiny woman said to her teeny-tiny self, "This 
teeny-tiny bone wiU make me some teeny-tiny soup for 
my teeny-tiny supper." So the teeny-tiny woman put 
the teeny-tiny bone into her teeny-tiny pocket, and 
went home to her teeny-tiny house. 

Now when the teeny-tiny woman got home to her 
teeny-tiny house, she was a teeny-tiny tired; so she 
went up her teeny-tiny stairs to her teeny-tiny bed, and 
put the teeny-tiny bone into a teeny-tiny cupboards 
And when this teeny-tiny woman had been to sleep a 
teeny-tiny time, she was awakened by a teeny-tiny voice 
from the teeny-tiny cupboard, which said, "Give me 
my bone!*' And this teeny-tiny woman was a teeny- 
tiny frightened, so she hid her teeny-tiny head under 
the teeny-tiny clothes, and went to sleep again. And 
when she had been to sleep again a teeny-tiny time, the 
teeny-tiny voice again cried out from the teeny-tiny 
cupboard a teeny-tiny louder, "Give me my bone!'* 
This made the teeny-tiny woman a teeny-tiny more 
Mghtened, so she hid her teeny-tiny head a teeny-tiny 
farther under the teeny-tiny clothes. And when the 
teeny-tiny woman had been to sleep again a teeny-tiny 

* This simple tale seldom fails to rivet the attention of children, especially 
if ivell told. The last two words should be said loudly with a start. It 
was obtained from oral tradition, and has not, I believe, been printed. 

3 



26 FIRESIDE STORIES. 

time, the teeny-tiny voice from the teeny-tiny cupboard 
said again a teeny-tiny louder, " Give me my bone !'* 
And this teeny-tiny woman was a teeny-tiny bit more 
frightened, but she put her teeny-tiny head out of the 
teeny-tiny clothes, and said in her loudest teeny-tiny 
voice, " Take it !" 

THE STORY OP MR. VINEGAR.* 

Mr. and Mrs. Vinegar lived in a vinegar bottle. 
Now one day, when Mr. Vinegar was from home, Mrs. 
Vinegar, who was a very good housewife, was busily 
sweeping her house, when an unlucky thump of the 
broom brought the whole house clitter-clatter, clitter- 
clatter, about her ears. In a paroxysm of grief she 
rushed forth to meet her husband. On seeing him she 
exclaimed, "Oh, Mr. Vinegar, Mr. Vinegar, we are 
ruined, we are ruined : I have knocked the house down, 
and it is all to pieces !" Mr. Vinegar then said, " My 
dear, let us see what can be done. Here is the door ; I 
will take it on my back, and we will go forth to seek 
our fortune.*' They walked all that day, and at night- 
fall entered a thick forest. They were both excessively 
tired, and Mr. Vinegar said, " My love, I will climb up 
into a tree, drag up the door, and you shall follow." 
He accordingly did so, and they both stretched their 
weary limbs on the door, and feU fast asleep. In the 
middle of the night Mr. Vinegar was disturbed by the 
sound of voices beneath, and to his inexpressible dismay 
perceived that a party of thieves were met to divide 
their booty. "Here, Jack," said one, "here's five 
pounds for you ; here. Bill, here's ten pounds for you ; 
here. Bob, here's three pounds for you." Mr. Vinegar 
could listen no longer ; his terror was so intense that 

* This story was obtained from oral tradition in the West of England. 
It is undoubtedly a variation of the <* Hans im Gliick" of Grimm, which 
is current in Germany. 



FIRESIDE STOKIES. 27 

he trembled most violently, and shook down the door 
on their heads. Away scamperd the thieves, but Mr. 
Vinegar dared not quit his retreat till broad daylight. He 
then scrambled out of the tree, and went to lift up the 
door. What did he behold but a number of golden guineas! 
" Come down, Mrs. Vinegar," he cried, " come down, I 
say; our fortune's made, our fortune's made! come down, 
I say." Mrs. Vinegar got down as fast as she could, and 
saw the money with equal delight. ** Now, my dear," 
said she, " I'll tell you what you shall do. There is a 
fair at the neighbouring town ; you shall take these forty 
guineas and buy a cow. I can make butter and cheese, 
which you shall sell at market, and we shall then be 
able to live very comfortably." Mr. Vinegar joyfully 
assents, takes the money, and goes off to the fair. 
When he arrived, he walked up and down, and at length 
saw a beautiful red cow. It was an excellent milker, 
and perfect in every respect. Oh ! thought Mr. Vinegar, 
if I had but that cow I should be the happiest man 
ahve ; so he offers the forty guineas for the cow, and 
the owner declaring that, as he was a friend, he'd oblige 
him, the bargain was made. Proud of his purchase, 
he droYe the cow backwards and forwards to show it. 
By-and-by he saw a man playing the bagpipes, Tweedle 
dum, tweedle dee ; the children followed him about, 
and he appeared to be pocketing money on all sides. 
Well, thought Mr. Vinegar, if I had but that beautiful 
instrument I should be the happiest man alive — my 
fortune would be made. So he went up to the man, 
" Friend," says he, " what a beautiful instrument that 
is, and what a deal of money you must make." *' Why, 
yes," said the man, " I make a great deal of money, to 
be sure, and it is a wonderful instrument." " Oh !" 
cried Mr. Vinegar, ** how I should like to possess it !" 
" Well," said the man, " as you are a friend, I don't 
much mind parting with it ; you shall have it for that 
red cow." " Done," said the delighted Mr. Vinegar ; so 



28 FIRESIDE STORIES. 

the beautiful red cow was given for the bagpipes. He 
walked up and down with his purchase, but in vain he 
attempted to play a tune, and instead of pocketing 
pence, the boys followed him hooting, laughing, and 
pelting. Poor Mr. Vinegar, his fingers grew very cold^ 
and, heartily ashamed and mortified, he was leaving 
the town, when he met a man with a fine thick pair of 
gloves. " Oh, my fingers are so very cold," said Mr. 
Vinegar to himself ; " if I had but those beautiful gloves 
I should be the happiest man alive." He went up.to the 
man, and said to him, '' Friend, you seem to have a 
capital pair of gloves there." " Yes, truly," cried the 
man ; "and my hands are as warm as possible this cold 
November day." " Well," said Mr. Vinegar, " I should 
like to have them." " What will you give ?" said the 
man ; " as you are a friend, I don't much mind letting 
you have them for those bagpipes." "Done," cried 
Mr. Vinegar. He put on the gloves, and felt perfectly 
happy as he trudged homewards. At last he grew very 
tired, when he saw a man coming towards hun with a 
good stout stick in his hand. " Oh," said Mr. Vinegar, 
" that I had but that stick ! I should then be the happiest 
man aUve." He accosted the man — " Friend I what a 
rare good stick you have got." " Yes," said the man, 
** I have used it for many a long mile, and a good friend 
it has been, but if you have a fancy for it, as you are a 
friend, I don't mind giving it to you for that pair of 
gloves." Mr. Vinegar's hands were so warm, and his 
legs so tired, that he gladly exchanged. As he drew 
near to the wood where he had left his wife, he heard 
a parrot on a tree calling out his name — " Mr. Vinegar, 
you foolish man, you blockhead, you simpleton ; you 
went to the fair, and laid out all your money in buying 
a cow ; not content with that, you changed it for bag- 
pipes, on which you could not play, and which were 
not worth one tenth of the money. You fool, you — 
you had no sooner got the bagpipes than you changed 



FIRESIDE STORIES. 29^ 

them for the gloves, which were uot worth one quarter 
of the money ; and when you had got the gloves, you 
changed them for a poor miserable stick; and now 
for your forty guineas, cow, bagpipes, and gloves, you 
have nothing to show but that poor miserable stick, 
which you might have cut in any hedge." On this the 
bird laughed immoderately, and Mr. Vinegar, falling 
into a violent rage, threw the stick at its head. The 
stick lodged in the tree, and he returned to his wife 
without money, cow, bagpipes, gloves, or stick, and she 
instantly gave him such a sound cudgelling that she 
almost broke every bone in his skin. 

THE STORY OF CHICKEN-LICKEN.* 

As Chicken-licken went one day to the wood, an 
acorn feU upon her poor bald pate, and she thought the 
sky had fallen. So she said she would go and tell the 
king that the sky had fallen. So chicken-licken turned 
back, and met Hen-len. "WeU, hen-len, where are 
you going?" And hen-len said, "Fm going to the 
wood for some meat." And chicken-licken said, " Oh ! 
hen-len, don't go, for I was going, and the sky fell upon 
my poor bald pate, and I'm going to teU the king." 
So hen-len turned back with chicken-Hcken, and met 
Cock-lock. "Oh! cock-lock, where are you going?" 
And cock-lock said, "I'm going to the wood for some 
meat." Then hen-len said, "Oh! cock-lock, don't go, 
for I was going, and I met chicken-licken, and chicken- 
licken had been at the wood, and the sky had fallen on 
her poor bald pate, and we are going to tell the king." 

So cock-lock turned back, and met Duck-luck. " Well, 
duck-luck, where are you going ?" And duck-luck said, 
** I'm going to the wood for some meat." Then cock-^ 
lock said, " Oh ! duck-luck, don't go, for I was going, 

* A shorter and very diflferent version of this is given by Mr. Chambers, p. 2] 1 . 

3§ 



30 FIRESIDE STOBIES. 

and I met hen-len^ and hen-len met chicken-licken, and 
chicken-Iicken had been at the wood, and the sky had 
fallen on her poor bald pate, and we are going to tell 
the king." 

So dnck-luck turned back, and met Drake-lake. 
" Well, drake-lake, where are you going ?'* And drake- 
lake said, " I'm going to the wood for some meat." 
Then duck-luck said, '* Oh ! drake-lake, don't go, for 
I was going, and I met cock-lock, and cock-lock met 
hen-len, and hen-len met chicken-Ucken, and chicken- 
licken had been at the wood, and the sky had faUen on 
her poor bald pate, and we are going to tell the king." 

So drake-lake turned back, and met Goose-loose. 
"Well, goose-loose, where are you going?" And goose- 
loose said, " I'm going to the wood fbr some meat." 
Then drake-lake said, " Oh ! goose-loose, don't go, for 
I was going, and I met duck-luck, and duck-luck met 
cock-lock, and cock-lock met hen-len, and hen-len met 
chicken-licken, and chicken-licken had been at the wood, 
and the sky had fallen on her poor bald pate, and we 
are going to tell the king." 

So goose-loose turned back, and met Gkinder-lander. 
"Well, gander-lander, where are you going?" And 
gander-lander said, " I'm going to the wood for some 
meat." Then goose-loose said, "Oh! gander-lander, 
don't go, for I was going, and I met drake-lake, and 
drake-lake met duck-luck, and duck-luck met cock-lock, 
aud cock-lock met hen-len, and hen-len met chicken- 
licken, and chicken-licken had been at the wood, and 
the sky had fallen on her poor bald pate, and we are 
going to tell the king." 

So gander-lander turned back, and met Turkey- 
lurkey. "Well, turkey-lurkey, where are you going?" 
And turkey-lurkey said, " I'm going to the wood for 
some meat." Then gander-lander said, "Oh! turkey- 
lurkey, don't go, for I was going, and I met goose-loose, 
and goose-loose met drake-lake, and drake-lake met 



FIRESIDE STORIES. 31 

dack-lack, and duck-lack met cock-lock, and cock-lock 
met hen-len, and hen-len met chicken-licken, and 
chicken-licken had been at the wood, and the sky had 
fallen on her poor bald pate, and we are going to tell 
the king." 

So turkey-lurkey tamed back, and walked with 
gander-lander, goose-loose, drake^lake, duck-luck, cock- 
lock, hen-len, and chicken-licken. And as they were 
going along, they met Fox-lox. And fox-lox said, 
" Where are you going, my pretty maids ?" And they 
said, " Chicken-licken went to the wood, and the sky 
fell upon her poor bald pate, and we are going to tell 
the king.'' And fox-lox said, '' Come along with me, 
and I will show you the way." But fox-lox took them 
into the fox's hole, and he and his young ones soon ate 
up poor chicken-licken, hen-len, cock-lock, duck-luck, 
drake-lake, goose-loose, gander-lander, and turkey- 
lurkey, and they never saw the king, to tell him that 
the sky had fallen ! 

THE MISER AND HIS WIFE.* 

Once upon a time there was an old miser, who lived 
with his wife near a great town, and used to put by 
every bit of money he could lay his hands on. His 
wife was a simple woman, and they lived together with- 
out quarrelling, but she was obliged to put up with very 
hard fare. Now, sometimes, when there was a sixpence 
she thought might be spared for a comfortable dinner 

* '* Let us CMt away nothing," says ICr. Gifford, *' for we know not what 
use we may have for it." So will every one admit whose reading has been 
sufficiently extensive to enable him to judge of the value of the simplest 
traditional tales. The present illustrates a passage in Ben Jonson In a 
very remarkable manner,— 

Say we are robb'd. 

If any come to borrow a spoon or so ; 

1 will not have Good Fortune or God's Blessing 

Let in, while I am busy. 



32 FIEESIDE STORIES. 

or supper, she used to ask the miser for it, hut he would 
say, "No, wife, it must be put hy for Good Fortune.'* 
It was the same with every penny he could get hold of, 
and notwithstanding all she could say, almost every 
coin that came into the house was put by " for Good 
Fortune." 

The miser said this so often, that some of his neigh- 
bours heard him, and one of them thought of a trick 
by which he might get the money. So the first day 
that the old chuff was away from home, he dressed him- 
self like a wayfaring man, and knocked at the door. 
** Who are you ?*' said the wife. He answered, " I am 
Good Fortune, and I am come for the money which 
your husband has laid by for me." So this simple 
woman, not suspecting any trickery, readily gave it to 
him, and, when her good man came home, told him very 
pleasantly that Good Fortune had called for the money 
which had been kept so long for him. 

THE THREE QUESTIONS. 

There lived formerly in the county of Cumberland a 
nobleman who had three sons, two of whom were comely 
and clever youths, but the other a natural fool, named 
Jack, who was generally dressed in a party-coloured 
coat, and a steeple-crowned hat with a tassel, as became 
his condition. Now the King of the East Angles had a 
beautiful daughter, who was distinguished by her great 
ingenuity and wit, and he issued a decree that whoever 
should answer three questions put to him by the princess 
should have her in marriage, and be heir to the crown 
at his decease. Shortly after this decree was published, 
news of it reached the ears of the nobleman's sons, and the 
two clever ones determined to have a trial, but they were 
sadly at a loss to prevent their idiot brother from going 
with them. They could not, by any means, get rid of 
him, and were compelled at length to let Jack- accom- 



FIRESIDE STORIES. 33 

pany them. They had not gone far, hefore Jack shrieked 
with laughter, saying, *' I've found an egg." " Put it 
in your pocket," said the brothers. A little while after- 
wards, he burst out into another fit of laughter on finding 
a crooked hazel stick, which he also put in his pocket : 
and a third time, he again laughed extravagantly because 
he found a nut. That also was put with his other 
treasures. 

When they arrived at the palace, they were imme- 
diately admitted on mentioning the nature of their 
business, and were ushered into a room where the prin- 
cess and her suite were sitting. Jack, who never stood 
on ceremony, bawled out, " What a troop of fair ladies 
we've got here !" " Yes," said the princess, " we are 
fair ladies, for we carry fire in our bosoms." " Do you," 
said Jack, *' then roast me an egg," pulling out the egg 
from his pocket. " How will you get it out again ?" 
said the princess. "With a crooked stick," replied 
Jack, producing the hazel. "Where did that come 
from?" said the princess. "From a nut," answered 
Jack, pulling out the nut from his pocket. And thus 
the "fool of the family," having been the first to 
answer the questions of the princess, was married to her 
the next day, and ultimately succeeded to the throne. 

THE CAT AND THE MOUSE.* 

The cat and the mouse 
Pla/d in the malt-hoiise : 

The cat bit the mouse's tail off. Pray, puss, give me 
my tail. No, says the cat, I'll not give you your tail, 
till you go to the cow, and fetch me some milk ; 

Eirst she leapt, and then she ran. 

Till she came to the cow, and thus began, — 

* This tale has been traced hack fifty years* but it is probably consider- 
ably older. 



34 FIRESIDE STOKIES. 

Pray, Cow, give me milk, that T may give cat milk, that 
cat may give me my own tail again. No, said the cow, 
I will give yoa no milk, till you go to the farmer and 
get me some hay. 

First she leapt, and then she ran. 

Till she came to the farmer, and thus hegan, — 

Pray, Farmer, give me hay, that I may give cow hay, 
that cow may give me milk, that I may give cat milk, 
that cat may give me my own tail again. No, says the 
farmer, I'll give you no hay, till you go to the butcher 
and fetch me some meat. 

First she leapt, and then she ran. 

Till she came to the butcher, and thus began, — 

Pray, Butcher, give me meat, that I may give farmer 
meat, that farmer may give me hay, that I may give cow 
hay, that cow may give me milk, that I may give cat 
milk, that cat may give me my own tail again. No, 
says the butcher, Fll give you no meat, till you go to 
the baker and fetch me some bread. 

First she leapt, and then she ran. 

Till she came to the baker, and thus began, — 

Pray, Baker, give me bread, that I may give butcher 
bread, that butcher may give me meat, that I may give 
farmer meat, that farmer may give me hay, that I may 
give cow hay, that cow may give me milk, that I may 
give cat milk, that cat may give me my own tail again. 

Yes, says the baker, I'll give you some bread. 
But if you eat my meal, Til cut off your head. 

Then the baker gave mouse bread, and mouse gave 
butcher bread, and butcher gave mouse meat, and mouse 
gave farmer meat, and farmer gave mouse hay, and 
mouse gave cow hay, and cow gave mouse milk, and 
mouse gave cat milk, and cat gave mouse her own tail 
again ! 



FIRESIDE STORIES. 35 



THE PRINCESS OF CANTERBURY. 

In days of yore, when this country was governed by 
several sovereigns, amongst them was the King of 
Canterbury, who had an only daughter, wise, fair, and 
beautiful. She was unmarried, and according to a 
custom not unusual in those days, of assigning an arbi- 
trary action for the present of a lady's hand, the king 
issued a proclamation that whoever would watch one 
night with his daughter, and neither sleep nor doze, 
should have her the next day in mariiage ; but if he did 
either, he should lose his head. Many knights attempted 
to fulfil the condition, and, having failed in the attempt, 
forfeited their lives. 

Now it happened that a young shepherd, grazing his 
flock near the road, said to his master, ''Zur,* Izee 
many gentlemen ride to the court at Canterbury, but I 
ne'er zee 'em return again." " 0, shepherd," said his 
master, " I know not how you should, for they attempt 
to watch with the king's daughter, according to the 
decree, and not performing it, they are aU beheaded." 
" Well," said the shepherd, " I'll try my vorton ; zo 
now vor a king's daughter, or a headless shepherd !" 
And taking his bottle and bag, he trudged to the court. 
In his way thither, he was obliged to cross a river, and 
pulling off his shoes and stockings, while he was passing 
over he observed several pretty fish bobbing against his 
feet ; so he caught some, and put them into his pocket. 
When he reached the palace, he knocked at the gate 
loudly with his crook, and having mentioned the object 
of his visit, he was immediately conducted to a hall, 
where the king's daughter sat ready prepared to receive 
her lovers. He was placed in a luxurious chair, and 



* The present Kentish dialect does not adopt this form, but anciently 
some of the peculiarities of what is now the western dialect of England 
extended all over the southern counties. 



36 FIRESIDE STORIES. 

rich wines and spices were set before him, and all sorts 
of delicate meats. The shepherd, unused to such fare, 
eat and drank plentifully, so that he was nearly dozing 
before midnight. "0 shepherd,'* said the lady, ^*I 
have caught you napping !" ^* Noa, sweet ally, I was 
busy a-feeshing." ** A-fishing !*' said the princess in 
the utmost astonishment : '^ Nay, shepherd, there is no 
fish-pond in the hall." "No matter Yor that, I have 
been feeshing in my pocket, and have just caught one." 
"Oh me!" said she, "let me see it." The shepherd 
slily drew the fish out of his pocket, and pretending to 
have caught it, showed it her, and she declared it 
was the finest she ever saw. About half an hour after- 
wards, she said, " Shepherd, do you think you could 
get me one more?" He replied, "Mayhap I may, 
when I have baited my hook ;" and after a little while 
he brought out another, which was finer than the first, 
and the princess was so dehghted that she gave him 
leave to go to sleep, and promised to excuse him to her 
father. 

In the morning the princess told the king, to his 
great astonishment, that the shepherd must not be be^ 
headed, for he had been fishing in the hall all night ; 
but when he heard how the shepherd had caught such 
beautiful fish out of his pocket, he asked him to catch 
one in his own. The shepherd readily undertook the 
task, and bidding the king lie down, he pretended to 
fish in his pocket, having another fish concealed ready 
in his hand, and giving him a sly prick with a needle, 
he held up the fish, and showed it to the king. His 
majesty did not much relish the operation, but he as- 
sented to the marvel of it, and the princess and shep- 
herd were united the same day, and lived for many years 
in happiness and prosperity. 



FIRESIDE STORIES. 37 



LAZY JACK.* 



Once upon a time there was a boy whose name was 
Jack, and he liyed with his mother on a dreary common. 
They were very poor, and the old woman got her living 
by spinning, but Jack was so lazy that he would do 
nothing but bask in the sun in the hot weather, and 
sit by the comer of the hearth in the winter time. His 
mother could not persuade him to do anything for her, 
and was obliged at last to tell liim that if he did not 
begin to work for his porridge, she would turn him out 
to get his lining as he could. 

This threat at length roused Jack, and he went out 
and hired himself for the day to a neighbouring farmer 
for a penny ; but as he was coming home, never having 
had any money in his possession before, he lost it in 
passing over a brook. ^'You stupid boy," said his 
mother, "you should have put it in your pocket." "I'll 
do so anoUier time," replied Jack. 

The next day Jack went out again, and hired himself 
to a cowkeeper, who gave him a jar of milk for his 
day's work. Jack took the jar and put it into the large 
pocket of his jacket, spilling it all, long before he got 
home. " Dear me !" said the old woman ; " you should 
have carried it on your head." "1*11 do so another 
time," replied Jack. 

The following day Jack hired himself again to a 
farmer, who agreed to give him a cream cheese for his 
services. In the evening. Jack took the cheese, and 
went home with it on his head. By the time he got 
home the cheese was completely spoilt, part of it being 
lost, and part matted with his hair. "You stupid 
louV* said his mother, " you should have carried it very 
carefully in your hands." " I'll do so another time," 
repHed Jack. 

The day after this Jack again went out, and hired 

* From oral tradition in Yorkshire. 

4 



38 FIRESIDE STORIES. 

himself to a baker, who would give him nothiog for his 
work but a large tom-cat. Jack took the cat, and 
began carrying it very carefully in his hands, but in a 
short time Pussy scratched him so much that he was 
compelled to let it go. When he got home, his mother 
said to him, " You silly fellow, you should have tied it 
with a string, and dragged it along after you." "I'll 
do so another time," said Jack. 

The next day Jack hired himself to a butcher, who 
rewarded his labours by the handsome present of a 
shoulder of mutton. Jack took the mutton, tied it to 
a string, and trailed it along after him in the dirt, so that 
by the time he had got home the meat was completely 
spoilt. His mother was this time quite out of patience 
with him, for the next day was Sunday, and she was 
obliged to content herself with cabbage for her dinner. 
" You ninnyhammer," said she to her son, " you should 
have carried it on your shoulder." " FU do so another 
time," replied Jack. 

On the Monday Jack went once more, and hired him- 
self to a cattle-keeper, who gave him a donkey for his 
trouble. Although Jack was very strong, he found some 
difficulty in hoisting the donkey on his shoulders, but 
at last he accomplished it, and began walking slowly 
home with his prize. Now it happened that in the 
course of his journey there lived a rich man with his 
only daughter, a beautiful girl, but unfortunately deaf 
and dumb ; she had never laughed in her life, and the 
doctors said she would never recover till somebody made 
her laugh.* Many tried without success, and at last 
the father, in despair, offered her in marriage to the 
first man who could make her laugh. This young lady 
happened to be looking out of the window when Jack 
was passing with the donkey on his shoulders, the legs 
sticking up in the air, and the sight was so comical and 

* An incident analogous to this occurs in Grimm, Die Goldene Cans. 
See Edgar Taylor's Gammer Grethel, 1839, p. 5. 



FIRESIDE STORIES. 39 

strange^ that she hurst ont into a great fit of laughter^ 
and immediately recovered her speech and hearing. Her 
father was overjoyed, and fulfilled his promise by mar- 
rying her to Jack, who was thus made a rich gentleman. 
They lived in a large house, and Jack's mother lived with 
them in great happiness until she died. 

THE THREE HEADS OF THE WELL.* 

Long before Arthur and the Knights of the Bound 
Table, there reigned in the eastern part of England a 
king who kept his court at Colchester. He was witty, 
strong, and valiant, by which means he subdued his 
enemies abroad, and secured peace among his subjects 
at home. Nevertheless, in the midst of his glory, his 
queen died, leaving behind her an only daughter, about 
fifteen years of age. This lady, from her courtly car- 
riage, beauty, and affability, was the wonder of all that 
knew her ; but, as covetousness is said to be the root of 
all evil, so it happened in this instance.' The king 
hearing of a lady who had likewise an only daughter, 
for the sake of her riches had a mind to marry; though 
she was old, ugly, hook-nosed, and humpbacked^ yet 
all this could not deter him from marrying her. Her 
daughter, also, was a yellow dowdy, full of envy and iU- 
nature ; and, in short, was much of the same mould as 
her mother. This signified nothing, for in a few weeks 
the king, attended by the nobility and gentry, brought 
his intended bride to his palace, where the marriage 
rites were performed. They had not been long in the 
court before they set the kiog against his own beautiful 
daughter, which was done by false reports and accusa- 
tions. The young princess, having lost her father's 

* This story is abridged from the old chap-book of the Three Kings of 
Colchester. The ineident of the heads rising out of the well is very similar 
to one introduced in Peele's Old Wives Tale, 1595, and the verse is also 
of a similar character. 



40 FIRBSIDE ST0RI£3. 

love, grew weary of the coart> and one day meeting with 
her father in the garden, she desired him, with tears in 
her eyes, to give her a small sabsistence, and she would 
go and seek her fortune ; to which the king consented, 
and ordered her mother-in-law to make up a small sum 
according to her discretion. She went to the queen, 
who gave her a canvass bag of brown bread and hard 
cheese, with a bottle of beer; though this was but a 
very pitiful dowry for a king's daughter. She took it, 
returned thanks, and proceeded on her journey, passing 
through groves, woods, and vaUeys, tUl at length she 
saw an old man sitting on a stone at the mouth of a 
cave, who said, ** Good morrow, fair maiden, whither away 
so fast?" "Aged father," says she, "1 am going to 
seek my fortune." " What has thou in thy bag and 
bottle V* " In my bag I have got bread and cheese, and 
in my bottle good small beer ; will you please to partake 
of either?" "Yes," said he, "with all my heart." 
With that the lady pulled out her provisions, and bid 
him eat and welcome. He did so, and gave her many 
thanks, saying thus : " There is a thick thorny hedge 
before you, which will appear impassable, but take this 
wand in your hand, strike three times, and say, ' Pray, 
hedge, let me come through,' and it will open imme- 
diately ; then, a little furdier, you will find a well ; sit 
down on the brink of it, and there will come up three 
golden heads, which will speak : pray do whatever they 
require." Promising she would follow his directions, 
she took her leave of him. Arriving at the hedge, and 
pursuing the old man's directions, it divided, and gave 
her a passage; then, going to the well, she had no 
sooner sat down than a golden head came up singing — 

Wash me, and comb me, 
And lay me down softly, 
And lay me on a bank to dry. 
That I may look pretty, 
When somebody comes by. 



FIRESIDE STORIES. 41 

^'Yes," said she, and putting forth her hand, with a 
silver comb performed the office, placing it upon a 
primrose bank. Then came up a second and a third 
head, maJcing the same request, which she complied 
with. She then pulled out her provisions and ate her 
dinner. Then said the heads one to another, " What 
shall we do for this lady who hath used us so kindly V 
The first said, '* I will cause such addition to her beauty 
as shall charm the most powerful prince in the world.'' 
The second said, '* I will endow her with such perfume, 
both in body and breath, as shall far exceed the sweetest 
flowers." The third said, " My gift shall be none of 
the least, for, as she is a king's daughter, Pll make her 
so fortunate that she shall become queen to the greatest 
prince that reigns.'' This done, at their request she 
let them down into the well again, and so proceeded on 
her journey. She had not travelled long before she 
saw a king hunting in the park with his nobles ; she 
would have avoided him, but the king having caught 
a sight of her, approached, and what with her beauty 
and perfumed breath, was so powerfully smitten, that 
he was not able to subdue his passion, but commenced 
his courtship immediately, and was so successful that 
he gained her love, and, conducting her to his palace, 
he caused her to be clothed in the most magnificent 
manner. 

This being ended, and the king finding that she was 
the king of Colchester's daughter, ordered some chariots 
to be got ready, that he might pay the king a visit. 
The chariot in which the king and queen rode was 
adorned with rich ornamental gems of gold. The king, 
her father, was at first astonished that his daughter had 
been so fortunate as she was, till the young king made 
him sensible of all that happened^ Great was the joy 
at court amongst all, with the exception of the queen 
and her club-footed daughter, who were ready to burst 
with malice, and envied her happiness ; and the greater 

4§ 



42 FIRESIDE STORIES.: 

waB their madness because she was now above them alL 
Great rejoicings, with feasting and dancing, continued 
many days. Then at length, with the dowry her father 
gave her they returned home. 

The deformed daughter perceiving that her sister had 
been so happy in seeking her fortune, would needs do 
the same ; so disclosing her mind to her mother, all 
preparations were made, and she was furnished not only 
with rich apparel, but sweetmeats, sugar, almonds, &c.> 
in great quantities, and a large bottle of Malaga sack. 
Thus provided, she went the same road as her sister, and 
coming near the cave, the old man said, ^' Young woman, 
whither so fast?" "What is that to you," said she, 
"Then," said he, *'what have you in your bag and 
bottle?" She answered, "Good things, which you shall 
not be troubled with." "Won't you give me some?" 
said he. " No, not a bit, nor a drop, unless it would 
choke you." The old man frowned, sayiiig, "Evil 
fortune attend thee." Going on, she came to the hedge, 
through which she espied a gap, and thought to pass 
through it, but, going in, the hedge closed, and the 
thorns run into her flesh, so that it was with great 
difficulty that she got out. Being now in a painful 
condition, she searched for water to wash herself, and, 
looking round, she saw the well ; she sat down on the 
brink of it, and one of the heads came up, saying, 
*'Wash me, comb me, and lay me down softly, &c." 
but she banged it with her bottle, saying, " Take this 
for your washing." So the second and third heads came 
up, and met with no better treatment than the first ; 
whereupon the heads Consulted among themselves what 
evils to plague her with for such usage. The first 
said, " Let her be struck with leprosy in her face." 
The second, " Let an additional smell be added to her 
breath ." The third bestowed on her a husband, though 
but a poor country cobler. This done, she goes on till 
she came to a town, and it being market day, the people 



FIRESIDE STORIES. 4S 

looked at her> nnd seeing sueh an evil face fled oat 
of her sight, all but a poor cobler (who not long before 
had mended the shoes of an old hermit, who having no 
money, gave him a box of ointment for the cure of the 
leprosy, and a bottle of spirits for a stinking breath). 
Now the cobler having a mind to do an act of charity, 
was induced to go up to her and ask her who she was. 
" I am," said she, "the king of Colchester's daughter- 
in-law." " Well," said the cobler, " if I restore you to 
your natural complexion, and midce a sound cure both 
in face and breath, will you in reward take me for 
a husband?" "Yes, friend," repHed she, "with all 
my heart." With this the cobler applied the remedies, 
and they worked the effect in a few weeks, and then 
they were married, and after a few days they set forward 
for the court at Colchester. When the queen under- 
stood she had married a poor cobler, she fell into distrac- 
tion, and hanged herself for vexation. The death of the 
queen was not a source of sorrow to the king, who had 
only married her for her fortune, and bore her no affec- 
tion ; and shortly afterwards he gave the cobler a hundred 
pounds to take the daughter to a remote part of the 
kingdom, where he lived many years menoing shoes, 
while his wife assisted the housekeeping by spinning, 
and selling the results of her labours at the country 
market. 

THE MAIDEN AND THE FROG."' 

Many years ago there lived on the brow of a moun- 
tain, in the North of England, an old woman and her 

* This tale of the firag4oTer is known in every part of Germany, and is 
alluded to by several old writers of that country. It is the tale ** Der 
Froschkdnig, oder der Eiseme Heinrich/' in Gximm. « These enchanted 
frogs/' says Sir W. Scott, «« have migrated from afar, and we suspect that 
they were originally crocodiles ; we trace them in a tale forming part of a 
series of stories entitled the Relations of Ssidi Kur, exunt amongst the 
Calmuck Tartars." Mr. Chambers has given a Scotch version of the tale, 
under the title of «* The well o' the warld's end," in his Popular Rhymes. 



44 FIRESIDE STOKIES. 

daughter. They were very poor, and obliged to work 
Tery hard for their livisg, and the old woman's temper 
was not Yery good, so that the maiden, who was very 
beautifiil, led but an ill life with her. The girl, indeed, 
was compelled to do the hardest work, for her mother 
got their principal means of subsbtence by trayelling to 
places in the neighbourhood with small articles for sale, 
and when she came home in the afternoon she was 
not able to do much more work. Nearly the whole 
domestic labour of the cottage devolyed therefore on 
the daughter, the most wearisome part of which con- 
sisted in the necessity of fetching all the water they 
required from a well on the other side of the hill, there 
being no river or spring near their own cottage. 

It happened one morning that the daughter had the 
misfortune, in going to the well, to break the only 
pitcher they possessed, and baring no other utensil she 
could use for the purpose, she was obliged to go home 
without bringing any water. When her mother returned, 
she was unfortunately troubled with excessiye thirst, and 
the girl, though trembling for the consequences of her 
misfortune, told her exactly the circumstance that had 
occurred. The old woman was fiiriously angry, and 
so far from making any allowances for her daughter, 
pointed to a sieve which happened to be on the table, 
and told her to go at once to the well and bring her 
some water in that, or never venture to appear again in 
her sight. 

The young maiden, frightened almost out of her wits 
by her mother's fury, speedily took the sieve, and though 

p. 236. The rhymes in the copy giren above were obtained from the North 
of England, without, however, any reference to the ftory to which they 
evidently belong. The application, however, is so obvious to any one ac* 
quainted with the German and Scoteh tale, that the framework I have 
ventured to give them cannot be considered incongruous ; although I need 
not add how very desirable it would l>e to procure tlie traditional tale 
as related by the English peasantry. Perhaps some of our readers may be 
enabled to supply it. 



FIRESIDE STORIES. 45 

she considered the task a hopeless one to accomplish, 
almost unconsciously hastened to the well. When she 
aniYed there, beginning to reflect on the painful situa- 
tion in which she was placed, and the utter impossibility 
of her obtaining a living by herself, she threw herself 
down on the brink of the well in an agony of despair. 
Whilst she was in this condition, a large frog came up 
to the top of the water, and asked her for what she was 
crying so bitterly. IShe was somewhat surprised at 
this^ but not being the least frightened, told him the 
whole story, and that she was crying because she could 
not carry away water in the sieve. "Is that all?" 
said the frog ; " cheer up, my hinny ! for if you will 
only let me sleep with you for two nights, and then 
chop oJBT my head, I will tell you how to do it." The 
maiden thought the frog could not be in earnest, 
but she was too impatient to consider much about it, 
and at once made the required promise. The frog then 
instructed her in the following words, — 

Stop with fog {mos8\ 

And daub with clay ; 
And that will carry 

The water away. 

Having said this, he dived immediately under the water, 
and the girl, having followed his advice, got the sieve 
full of water, and returned home with it, not thinking 
much of her promise to the frog. By the time she 
reached home the old woman's wrath was appeased, 
but as they were eating their frugal supper very quietly, 
what should they hear but the splashing and croaking 
of a frog near the door, and shortly afterwards the 
daughter recognised the voice of the frog of the well 
saying,— 

Open the door, my hinny, my heart. 

Open the door, my own darling ; 
Bemember the words you spoke to me, 

In the meadow by the well-spring. 



46 FIRESIDE STORIES. 

She was now dreadfully frightened, and hurriedly ex- 
plained the matter to her mother, who was also so much 
alarmed at the circumstance, that she dared not refuse 
admittance to the frog, who, when the door was opened, 
leapt into the room, exclaiming : 

Go wi' me to bed, my hinny, my heart. 
Go wi' me to bed, my own darling ; 

Remember the words you spoke to me. 
In the meadow by tne well-spring. 

This command was also obeyed, although, as may be 
readily supposed, she did not much relish such a bed- 
fellow. The next day, the frog was very quiet, and 
evidently enjoyed the fare they placed before him, — 
the purest milk and the finest bread they could procure. 
In fact, neither the old woman nor her daughter spared 
any pains to render the frog comfortable. That night, 
immediately supper was finished, the frog again ex- 
claimed : 

Go wi' me to bed, my hinny, my heart. 
Go wi* me to bed, my own darling ; 

Eemember the words you spoke to me. 
In the meadow by the well-spring. 

She again allowed the frog to share her couch, and in 
the morning, as soon as she was dressed, he jumped 
towards her, saying : 

Chop off my head, my hinny, my heart, 
Ctiop off my head, my own darling ; 

Hemember the words you spoke to me. 
In the meadow by the well-spring. 

The maiden had no sooner accomplished this last re- 
quest, than in the stead of the frog there stood by her 
side the handsomest prince in the world, who had long 
been transformed by a magician, and who could never 
have recovered his natural shape until a beautiful virgin 
had consented, of her own accord, to make him her 
bedfellow for two nights. The joy of all parties was 



FIRESIDE STORIES. 47 

complete ; the girl and the prince vere shortly after- 
wards married, and lived for many years in the enjoy- 
ment of every happiness. 

THE 8TORY OF MR. FOX.* 

Once upon a time there was a young lady called 
Lady Mary, who had two brothers. One summer they 
all three went to a country seat of theirs which they had 
not before visited. Among the other gentry in the 
neighbourhood who came to see them was a Mr. Fox, a 
bachelor, with whom they, particularly the young lady, 
were much pleased. He used often to dine with them, 
and frequently invited Lady Mary to come and see his 
house. One day, when her brothers were absent else- 
where, and she had nothing better to do, she determined 
to go thither, and accordingly set out unattended. When 
she arrived at the house and knocked at the door, no 
one answered. At length she opened it and went in, 
and over the portal of the door was written : 

Be bold, be bold, but not too bold. 

She advanced, and found the same inscription over the 
staircase ; again at the entrance of a gallery ; and lastly, 
at the door of a chamber, with the addition of a line : 

Be bold, be bold, but not too bold. 

Lest that your heart's blood should ran cold ! 

She opened it, and what was her terror and astonish- 
ment to find the floor covered with bones and blood. 
She retreated in haste, and coming down stairs, she saw 
ft*om a window Mr. Fox advancing towards Uie house 
with a drawn sword in one hand, while with the other 
he dragged along a young lady by the hair of her head. 
Lady Mary had just time to slip down, and hide herself 

* A simple, but very curious tale, of considerable antiquity. It is alluded 
to by Shakespeare, and was contributed to the variorum edition by Blakeway. 
Part of this story will recall to the reader's memory the enchanted chamber 
of Britomart. 



48 FIRESIDE STORIES. 

under the etairs, before Mr. Fox and his victim arrived 
at the foot of them. As he pulled the young lady up- 
stairs, she caught hold of one of the bannisters with her 
hand, on which was a rich bracelet. Mr. Fox cut it oflf 
with his sword : the hand and bracelet fell into Lady 
Mary*s lap, who then contrived to escape unobserved, 
and got safe home to her brothers' house. 

A few days afterwards, Mr. Fox came to dine with 
them as usual. After dinner, the guests began to amuse 
each other with extraordinary anecdotes, and Lady Mary 
said she would relate to them a remarkable dream she 
had lately had. I dreamt, said she, that as you, Mr. 
Fox, had often invited me to your house, I would go 
there one morning. When I came to the house, I 
knocked at the door, but no one answered. When I 
opened the door, over the hall I saw written, " Be bold, 
be bold, but not too bold." But, said she, turning to 
Mr. Fox, and smiling, " It is not so, nor it was not so." 
Then she pursued the rest of the story, concluding at 
every turn with, "It is not so, nor it was not so," till 
she came to the discovery of the room fuU of bones, 
when Mr. Fox took up the burden of the tale, and said: 

It is not so, nor it was not so. 
And God forbid it should be so ! 

which he continued to repeat at every subsequent turn 
of the dreadful story, till she came to the circumstance 
of his cutting off the young lady's hand, when, upon 
his saying, as usual. 

It is not so, nor it was not so. 
And God forbid it should be so ! 

Lady Mary retorts by saying. 

But it is so, and it was so. 

And here the hand I have to show ! 

at the same moment producing the hand and bracelet 
from her lap. Whereupon the guests drew their swords, 
and instanUy cut Mr. Fox into a thousand pieces. 



PlRESTDrE STORIES. 49 



THE OXFORD STUDENT.* 

Many years ago there lived at the University of 
Oxford a young student, who, having seduced the 
daughter, of a tradesman, sought to conceal his crime 
by committing the more heinous one of murder. With 
this view, he made an appointment to meet her one 
evening in a secluded fie^d. She was at the rendezvous 
considerably before, the time agreed upon for their 
meeting, and hid herself in a tree. The student arrived 
on the spot shortly afterwards, but what was the astonish- 
ment of the gh-l to observe that he commenced digging 
a grave. Her fears and suspicions were aroused, and 
^he did not leave her place of concealment till the stu- 
dent, despairing of her arrival, returned to his college. 
The next day, when she was at the door of her father's 
house, he passed and saluted her as usual. She returned 
his greeting by repeating the following lines : 

One moonshiny night, as I sat high, 
Waitijig for one to come by. 
The bouffks did b.end; my heart did ache 
To see wat hole the fox did make. 

« 

. Astounded by her unexpected knowledge of his base 
design, in a moment of fury he stabbed her to the heart. 
This murder occasioned a violent conflict between the 
tradespeople and the students, the latter taking part 
with the murderer, and so fierce was the skirmish, that 
Brewer's Lane, it is said, ran down with blood. Th€ 
place of appointment was adjoining the Divinity Walk, 
vhich was in time past far more secluded than at the 
present day, and she is said to have been buried in the 
grave made for her by her paramour. 

According to another version of the tale, the name of 
Ihe student was Fox, and a fellow-student went with 

* obtained in Oxfordshire from tradition. 

5 



r 



50 FIRESIDE STOBIES« 

him to assist in digging the grave. The verses in this 
account differ somewhat from the ahove. 

As I went oat in a moonlight night, 
I set my hack against the moon, 
1 looked for one, and saw two come : 
The boughs did bend, the leaves did shake, 
I saw the hole the Fox did make. 

JACK HORNBY.* 

In the reign of King Arthur there lived near the 
Land's End, in Cornwall, a wealthy farmer, who had an 
only son, commonly called Jack Hornby. He was of a 
brisk and ready wit, and he was never known to be 
outwitted in any transaction. 

One day, when he was no more than seven years of 
age, his father sent him into the field to look after his 
oxen. While he was attending to them, the lord of the 
manor came across the field, and as Jack was known to 
be a clever boy, he began asking him questions. His 
first was, *' How many commandments are there V* 
Jack told him there were nine. The lord corrected 
him, saying there were ten. ** Nay," quoth Jack, " you 
are wrong diere : it is true there were ten, but you broke 
one of them when you stole my father's cow for yonr 
rent." The lord of the manor was so struck by this 
answer, that he promised to return the poor man's cow. 

'' Now," quoth Jack, *' it is my turn to ask a question* 
Can you tell me how many sticks go to build a crow's 
nest ?" " Yes," said he, " there are as many go as are 
sufficient for the size of the nest." '* Oh !" quoth Jack^ 
*' you are out again ; there are none go, for they are all 
carried I" 

Jack Hornby was never more troubled with questions 
by the lord of the manor. 

* Thif little tale was most likely copied from the commencement of tbe 
original edition of Jack the Giant-killer, where similar incidents are related 
of that renowned hero. 



FIBESIDE STORIES. ^I 



MALLY DIXON AND KNURRE-MURRE. 

Stories of fairiea appearing in the shape of cats are 
common in the North of England. Mr. Longstafife re- 
lates that a farmer of Staindrop, in Durham, was one 
night crossing a bridge, when a cat jumped out, stood 
before him, and looking him full in the face, said : 

Johnny Reed ! Jolinny Eeed I 
Tell Madam Momfort 
That MaUy Dixon's dead. 

The farmer returned home, and in mickle wonder re- 
cited this awfu' stanza to his wife, when up started their 
black cat, saying, " Is she ?*' and disappeared for ever. 
It was supposed she was a fairy in disguise, who thus 
went to attend a sister's funeral, for in tibe North fairies 
do die, and green shady spots are pointed out by the 
counti^ folks as the cemeteries of the tiny people. An 
analogous story is found in the people-literature of 
Denmark. Near a town called Lyng is the hill of 
Brondhoe, inhabited by the trold-folk, or imps. 
Amongst these trolds was an old sickly devil, peevish 
and ill-tempered, because he was married to a young 
wife. This unhappy trold often set the rest by the ears, 
80 they nicknamed him Knurre-Murre, or Rumble- 
Grumble. Now it came to pass, that Enurre-Murre 
discovered that his young wife was inclined to honour 
him with a supplemental pair of horns ; and the object 
of his jealousy, to avoid his vengeance, was compelled 
to fly for his life from the cavern, and take refuge, in 
the shape of a tortoise-shell cat, in the house of Goodman 
Piatt, who harboured him with much hospitality, let 
him lie on the great wicker chair^ and fed him twice a 
day with bread and milk out of a red earthenware 
pipkin. One evening the goodman came home, at a 
late hour, full of wonderment. *' Goody," exclaimed 



f 



52 FIRESIDE STORIES. 

he to his wife, '' as I was passing by Brondhoe, there 
came oat a trold, who spake to me, saying, 

Hor du Plat, 

Siig til din cat 

At Knurre-Murre er dod. 

Hear then, Flatt, 

Say to thy cat 

That Knnrre-Murre is dead." 

The tortoise-shell cat was lying on the great wicker 
chair, and eating his supper of bread and milk out of 
the red earthenware pipkin, when the goodman came in; 
bat as soon as the message was delivered, he jumped 
bolt upright upon his two hind legs, for all the world 
like a Christian, and kicking the red earthenware pipkin 
and the rest of the bread and milk before him, be 
whisked through the cottage door, mewing, ''What! is 
Knurre-Murre dead ? then I may go home again !'* * 

THE BULL OF NORROWAY.f 

To wilder measures next they turn : 
The black black bull of Norroway ! 

Sudden the tapers cease to burn. 
The minstrels cease to play ! 

Once upon a time there liyed a king who had three 
daughters ; the two eldest were proud and ugly, bat 
the youngest was the gentlest and most beautiful creature 
ever seen, and the pride not only of her father and 
mother, but of all in the land. As it fell out, the three 

* This analysis of the Danish tale is takeii from an article in the Quar- 
terly Review, xxi. 96. 

-f This is a modem version, taken down from recitation, of the very old 
tale of the Mack Bull of Norrcwajf, mentioned in the Complayntof Scotland, 
1548. It is here taken, by the author's kind permission, from the Popular 
Rhymes of Scotland, by Mr. Robert Chambers, the most delightful book of 
the kind eter published.' 



FIRESIDE STORIES. 53 

princesses were talking one night of whom they would 
marry. ''I will have no one lower than a king," said the 
eldest princess ; the second would take a prince^ or a great 
duke even. " Pho, pho/' said the youngest, laughing, 
" you are hoth so proud ; now, I would be content with 
the Red Bull o' Norroway." WelJ, they thought no 
more of the matter till the next morning, when, as they 
sat at breakfast, they heard the most dreadful bellowing 
at the door, and what should it be but the Bed Bull 
come for his bride. You may be sure they wiere all 
terribly frightened at this, for the Bed Bull was one of 
the most horrible creatures ever seen in the world. 
And the king and queen did not know how to save 
their daughter. At last they determined to send him 
off with the old hen wife. So they put her on his back, 
and away he went with her till he came to a great black 
forest, when, throwing her dowu, he returned, roaring 
louder and more frightfully than ever. They then sent, 
one by one, all the servants, then the two eldest prin- 
cesses ; but not one of them met with any better treat- 
ment than the old henwife, and at last they were forced 
to send their youngest and favorite child. 

On travelled the lady and the bull through many 
dreadful forests and lonely wastes, till they came at last 
to a noble castle, where a large company was assembled. 
The lord of the castle pressed them to stay, though 
much he wondered at the lovely princess and her strange 
companion. When they went in among the company, 
the princess espied a pin sticking in the bull's hide, which 
she pulled out, and, to the surprise of all, there appeared 
not a frightful wild beast, but one of the most beautiful 
princes ever beheld. You may believe how delighted 
the princess was to see him fall at her feet, and thank 
her for breaking his cruel enchantment. There were 
great rejoicings in the castle at this ; but, alas ! at that 
moment he suddenly disappeared, and though every 
place was sought, he was nowhere to be found. The 

5§ 



54 FIRESIDE STORIES. 

princess, liowever, determined to seek tbrongh all the' 
world for him, and many weary ways she went, but 
nothing could she hear of her lover. Travelling once 
through a dark wood, she lost her way, and as night 
was coming on, she thought she must now certainly die 
of cold and hunger; but seeing a light through the trees, 
she went on till she came to a little hut, where an old 
woman lived, who took her in, and gave her both food 
and shelter. In the morning, the old wifie gave her 
three nuts, that she was not to break till her heart was 
^'like to break, and owre again like to break;*' so, 
showing her the way, she bade God speed her, and the 
princess once more set out on her wearisome journey. 

She had not gone far till a company of lords and 
ladies rode past her, all talking merrily of the fine 
doings they expected at the Duke o' Norroway's wedding. 
Then she came up to a number of people carrying all 
sorts of fine things, and they, too, were going to the 
duke's wedding. At last she came to a castle, where 
nothing was to be seen but cooks and bakers, some run- 
ning one way, and some another, and all so busy that 
they did not know what to do first. Whilst she was 
looking at aU this, she heard a noise of hunters be- 
hind her, and some one cried out, '* Make way for the 
Duke o' Norroway I" and who should ride past but the 
prince and a beautiful lady I You may be sure her heart 
was now " like to break, and owre again like to break," 
at this sad sight ; so she broke one of the nuts, and out 
came a wee wifie carding. The princess then went into 
the castle, and asked to see the lady, who no sooner saw 
the wee wifie so hard at work, than she offered the 
princess anything in her castle for it. " I will give it 
to you," said she, "only on condition that you put off 
for one day your marriage with the Duke o' Norroway, 
and that I may go into his room alone to-night." So 
anxious was the lady for the nut, that she consented. 
And when dark night was come, and the duke fast 



FIBESIDE STORIES. 55^ 

asleep, the princess was put alone into his chamber. 
Sitting down by his bedside, she began singing : 

Far hae I sought ye, near am I brought to ye ; 
Dear'Duke o' Norroway, will ye no turn and speak to me ? 

Though she sang this oyer and oyer again, the duke 
neyer wakened, and in the morning the princess had to 
leaye him, without his knowing she had eyer been there. 
She then broke the second nut, and out came a wee wifie 
spinning, which so delighted the lady, that she readily 
agreed to put off her marriage another day for it ; but 
the princess came no better speed the second night than 
the first, and, almost in despair, she broke the last nut, 
which contained a wee wifie reeling ; and on the same 
condition as before, the lady got possession of it. 
When the duke was dressing in the morning, his man 
asked him what the strange singing and moaning that 
had been heard in his room for two nights meant. " I 
heard nothing," said the duke ; " it could only haye 
been your fancy." " Take no sleeping-draught to night, 
and be sure to lay aside your pillow of heayiness," said 
the man, '' and you also will hear what for two nights 
has kept me awake." The duke did so, and the princess 
coming in, sat down sighing at his bedside, thinking 
this the last time she might eyer see him. The duke 
started up when he heard the yoice of his dearly-loyed 
princess ; and with many endearing expressions of sur- 
prise and joy, explained to her that he had long been in 
the power of an enchantress, whose spells oyer him 
were now happily ended by their once again meeting. 
The princess, happy to be the instrument of his second 
deliverance, consented to marry him, and the enchan- 
tress, who fled that country, afraid of the duke's anger, 
has never since been heard of. All was hurry and pre- 
paration in the castle, and the marriage which now took 
place at once ended the adyentures of the Bed Bull o' 
riorroway ^nd the wanderings of the king's daughter.* 



56 FIRESIDE STORIES. 

PUSS IN BOOTS.* 

There was a miller, who left no more estate to his 
three sons than his miU^ his ass, and his cat. The 
partition was soon made, neither scrivener nor attorney 
being sent for. They would soon have eaten up all the 
patrimony. The eldest had the mill, the second the ass, 
and the youngest nothing but the cat. 

The poor young fellow was quite downcast at so poor a 
lot. "My brothers," said he, "may get their living 
handsomely enough by joining their stocks together, 
but for my part, when I have eaten up my cat, and made 
me a muff of his skin, I must die with hunger." The cat, 
who heard all this, yet made as if he did not, said to 
him, with a grave and serious air, " Do not thus afflict 
yourself, my good master ; you have nothing else to do 
but give me a bag, and get a pair of boots made for me, 
that I may scamper through the dirt and the brambles, 
and you shall see that you have not so bad a portion as 
you imagine." Though he did not build very much upon 
what the cat said, he had however often seen him play 
a great many cunning tricks to catch rats and mice : as 
when he used to hang by the heels, or hide himself iu 
the meal, and make as if he were dead ; so that he did 
not altogether despair of his affording him some help 
in his miserable condition. When the cat had what he 
asked for, he booted himself very gallantly ; and putting 
the bag about his neck, held the strings of it in his tvo 
fore paws, and went into a warren where there was a 
great abundance of rabbits. He put bran and sow- 
thistles into the bag, and stretching himself out at 

* One of the tales of Perrault, 1697* The plot was taken from the first 
novel of the eleventh night of Straparola. Its moral is that talents are equiva- 
lent to fortune. We have inserted this in our collection, although genially 
remembered, as a specimen of the simple tales founded by Perrault on older 
stories, and which soon became popular in this country. The others, sa 
Blue Beard, and Little Riding Hood, are vanishing from the nursery, but 
are so universally known that reprints of them would be superfluous. 



FIR£SID£ STORISS. 57 

length, as if he had been dead^ he waited for some 
youDg rabbits not yet acquainted with the deceits of 
the world, to come and rammage his bag for what he 
had put into it. 

Scarce was he laid down, but he had what he wanted ; 
a rash and foolish young rabbit jumped into his bag, 
and Monsieur Puss immediately drawing the strings 
close, took and killed him without pity. Proud of his 
prey, he went with it into the palace, and asked to 
speak with his majesty. He was shown upstairs into the 
king's apartment, and, making a low reverence, said to 
him, " I have brought you. Sire, a rabbit of the warren, 
which my noble lord, the Marquis of Carabas (for that 
was the title which Puss was pleased to give his master), 
has commanded me to present to your majesty from 
him." "TeU thy master," said the king, "that I 
thank him, and he does me a great deal of pleasure." 

Another time he went and hid himself amongst some 
standing corn, holding his bag open ; and when a brace 
of partridges ran into it, he drew the strings, and so 
caught them both* He went and made a present of 
these to the king, as he had done before of the rabbit. 
The king received the partridges with great pleasure, 
and ordered him some money for drink. 

The cat continued, for two or three months, to carry 
game to his majesty. One day in particular, when he 
knew that the king was to take the air along the riveif 
side, with his daughter, the most beautiful princess \ti 
the world, he said to his master, ** If you will follow 
my advice, your fortune is made ; you have nothing else' 
to do, but go and wash yourself in the river, in that part 
I shall show you, and leave the rest to me." The 
Marquis of Carabas did what the cat advised, without 
knowing why or wherefore. 

While he was washing, the king passed by, and the 
cat began to cry out^ as loud as he could, " Help, help ! 
my Lord Marquis of Carabas is going to be drowned !" 



58 FIRESIDE STORIES^ 

At this noise the king pat his head oat of the coach- 
window, and finding it was the cat who had so often 
hrought him sach good gamCy he commanded the guards 
to ran immediately to the assistance of his lordship, the 
Marqais of Carabas. 

While they were drawing the poor marqais oat of the 
river, the cat came ap to the coach and told the king, 
that, while his master was washing, there came by some 
rogues who went off with his clothes, thoagh he had 
cried out, '< Thieves! thieves!" several times, as loud 
as he could. This cunning cat had hidden them under 
a great stone. The king immediately commanded the 
officers of his wardrobe to run and fetch one of his best 
suits for the Lord Marquis of Carabas. 

The king caressed him after a very extraordinary 
manner, and as the fine clothes he had given him ex- 
tremely set off his good mien (for he was well-made and 
very handsome in his person), the king's daughter took 
a secret inclination to him, and the Marquis of Carabas 
had no sooner cast two or three respectful and tender 
glances, but she fell in love with him to distraction ; 
and the kiug would have him come into his coach. The 
cat, overjoyed to see his project begin to succeed, 
marched on before, and meeting with some countrymen 
who were mowing a meadow, he said to them, '* Good 
people, if you do not tell the king that the meadow you 
mow belongs to the Marquis of Carabas, you shall be 
chopped as small as herbs for the pot." 

The king did not fail to ask the mowers to whom the 
meadow they were mowing belonged. " To my Lord 
Marquis of Carabas," answered they all together ; for 
the cat's threats had made them terribly afraid. ** You 
see, sir," said the marquis, ''this is a meadow that 
never fails to yield a plentiful harvest every year." The 
cat, who still went on before, met with some reapers, 
and said to them, " Good people, you who are reaping, 
if you do not tell the king that all this com belongs to 



FIRESIDE STOBIES* 59 

the Marquis of Carabas, you shall be chopped as small 
as herbs for the pot." The king, vho passed by 
a moment after, would needs know to whom all that 
corn did belong. " To my Lord Marquis of Carabas," 
replied the reapers ; and the king was very well pleased 
with it, as well as the marquis, whom he congratulated 
thereupon. The master cat went always before, saying 
the same words to all he met; and the king was 
astonished at the vast estates of my Lord Marquis of 
Carabas. Monsieur Puss came at last to a stately castle, 
the master of which was an ogre, the richest that had 
ever been known ; for all the lands the king had then 
gone over belonged to him ; the cat, having taken care 
to inform himself who this ogre was, and what he could 
do» asked to speak to him, saying, ** He could not pass 
so near his castle, without having the honour of paying 
his respects to him." 

The ogre received him as civilly as an ogre could do, 
and made him sit down. " I have been assured," said 
the cat, " that you have the gift of being able to change 
yourself into all sorts of creatures you have a mind to; 
you can, for example, transform yourself into a lion or 
elephant, and the Hke. " This is true," answered the 
ogre, very briskly, " and to convince you, you shall see 
me now become a lion." Puss was so sadly terrified at 
the sight of a lion so near him, that he immediately got 
into the gutter, not without great trouble and danger, 
because of his boots, which were of no use at all to him 
in walking upon the tUes. A Uttle while after, when 
Puss saw that the ogre had resumed his natural form, 
he came down, and owned that he had been very much 
frightened. 

"I have been moreover informed," said the cat, 
** but I know not how to believe it, that you have also 
the power to take upon you the smallest animals, for 
example, to change yourself into a rat or a mouse, but 
I must own to you, I take this to be impossible.^ 



60 FiUESiDG stories: 

^' Impossible I" cried the ogre, ''you shall see that 
presently ;" and at the same time changed himself into 
a mouse, and began to run about the floor. Pass no 
sooner perceived this, but he fell upon him, and eat 
him up. 

Meanwhile the king, who saw as he passed this fine 
castle of the ogre's, had a mind to go into it. Puss, 
who heard the noise of his majesty's coach running over 
the drawbridge, ran out, and said to the king, *' Your 
^lajesty is welcome to this castle of the Lord Marquis of 
Carabas." " What ! my lord marquis," cried the king, 
^' and does this castle also belong to you ? there can be 
nothing finer than this court, and all the stately build- 
ings which surround it : let us go into it, if you please." 

The king went up first, the marquis, handing the 
princess, following ; they passed into a spacious hall, 
where they found a magnificent collation the ogre had 
prepared fpr his friends, who dared not enter, knowing 
the king was there. His majesty was perfectly charmed 
^ith the good qualities of the marquis, and his daughter 
was violently in love with him. The king, after having 
dri^nk five or six glasses, said to him, ''My lord 
marquis, you will be only to blame, if you are not my 
son-in-law." The marquis, making several low bows, 
accepted the honour his majesty conferred upon him, 
:and forthwith the very^same day married the princess. 

Puss became a great lord, and never ran after mice 
any more but only for his diversion. 

JACK AND THE GIANTS. 

[The present copy of this tale is taken, with a few 
necessary alterations, from the original editions^ i^hieh 
idifier very considerably from the modern versions ; and 
it is worthy of preservation in its antique costume, for 
the story is undoubtedly of Teutonic origin* "Jack, 
commonly called the Giant Killer," says Sir W. Scott, 



FIRESIDE STORIES. 61 

" abd Thomas Thumb landed in England from the very 
same keels and war-ships which conveyed Hengist and 
Horsa, and Ebba the Saxon." One incidenjt in the 
romance exactly corresponds to a device played by the 
giant Skrimner, when he and Thor travelled to Utgard 
Castle, related in the Edda.of Snorro. Skrimner placed 
an immense rock on the leafy couch where Thor sup- 
posed he was sleeping, and when the latter> desiring to 
rid himself of his companion, heard the giant snore, he 
struck the rock with his tremendous hammer, thinking 
it was the monster's head. " Hath a leaf fallen upon 
me from the tree?" exclaimed the awakened giant. 
He went to sleep again, and snoring louder than ever, 
Tlior gave a blow which he thought must have cracked 
hifi idaill. **What is the matter?" quoth Skrimner, 
"hath an acorn fallen on my head?" A third time 
the snore was heard, and a tlurd time the hammer fell 
vith redoubled force, insomuch that Thor weened the 
iron had buried itself in Skrimner's temples. ^'Me- 
thinks," quoth the giant, rubbing his cheek, ''some 
moss hath fallen on my face !" Jack's invisible coat, 
his magic sword, and his shoes of swiftness, are also 
undoubtedly borrowed from Northern romance.* 

An incident very similar to the blows with the rat's 
tail occurs in the story of the Brave Little Tailor, in 
Grimm ; who outwits a giant in several ingenious ways, 
one of which may be described. On one occasion the 
giant wished to try the strength of the tailor, by chal- 
lenging him to carry a tree. The latter said, "Very 
well, you carry the butt-end, while I will carry all the 
branches, by far the heaviest part of the tree." So the 
giant lifted the tree up on his shoulders, and the tailor 
very coolly sat on the branches while the giant carried 
the tree. At length he was so tired with his load, he 
was obliged to drop it, and the tailor, nimbly jumping 

* The lasf is also found in the second relation of Ssidi Kur, a Calmuck 
romance, 

6 



62 FIRESIDE STORIES. 

off, made belief as if he had been carrying the branches 
all the time, and said : " A pretty fellow you are, that 
can't carry a tree 1" 

The edition of Jack the Giant-killer here used was 
printed at Newcastle-on-^Pyne in 1711. The earliest in 
the British Museum is dated 1809, nor does the Bodleian, 
I believe, contain a copy of a more ancient type. 

Jack and the Bean-stalk may be added to the series 
of English nursery-tales deriyed from the Teutonic. 
The bean-stalk is a descendant of the wonderful ash in 
the Edda. The distich put into the mouth of the giant» 

Snouk but, snouk ben, 

I find the smell of earthly men ; 

is, says Scott» scarcely inferior to the keen-scented 
anthropophaginian in Jack the Giant-killer.] 

In the reign of King Arthur, and in the county of 
Cornwall, near to the Land's End of England, there 
lived a wealthy farmer, who had an only son named 
Jack. He was brisk, and of a lively ready wit, so that 
whatever he could not perform by force and strength, 
he accomplished by ingenious wit and policy. Never 
was any person heard of that could worst him, and he 
very often even baffled the learned by his sharp and 
ready inventions. 

In those days the Mount of Cornwall was kept by t 
huge and monstrous giant of eighteen feet in height, ' 
and about three yards in compass, of a fierce and grim i 
countenance, the terror of all the neighbouring towns , 
and villages. He inhabited a cave in the middle of the , 
mount, and he was such a selfish monster that be would I 
not suffer any one to live near him. He fed on other 
men's cattle, which often became his prey, for when- 
soever he wanted food, he would wade over to the main 
land, where he would furnish himself with whatever 
came in his way. The inhabitants, at his approach^ 
forsook their habitations, while he seized on theiir cattle* 



FIRESIDE STOETES. 63 

making nothing of carrying half-a-dozen oxen on his 
back at a time ; and as for their sheep and hogs, he 
would tie them round his waist like a bunch of bando- 
leers.* This course he had followed for many years, 
so that a great part of the county was impoverished by 
his depredations. 

This was the state of affairs, when Jack, happening 
one day to be present at the town-hall when the autho- 
rities were consulting about the giant, had the curiosity 
to ask what reward would be given to the person who 
destroyed him. The giant's treasure was declared as 
the recompense, and Jack at once undertook the task. 

In order to accomplish his purpose, he furnished 
himself with a horn, shovel, and pickaxe, and went 
over to the Mount in the beginning of a dark winter's 
evening, when he fell to work, and before morning had 
dug a pit twenty-two feet deep, and nearly as broad, 
covering it over with long sticks and straw. Then 
strewing a little mould upon it, it appeared like plain 
ground. This accomplished. Jack placed himself on 
tiie side of the pit which was furthest from the giant's 
lodging, and, just at the break of day, he put the horn 
to his mouth, and blew with all his might. Although 
Jack was a little fellow, and the powers of his voice are 
not described as being very great, he managed to make 
noise enough to arouse the giant, and excite his indig- 
nation. The monster accordingly rushed from his care, 
exclaiming, ^'You incorrigible villain, are you come 
here to disturb my rest? you shall pay dearly for this. 
Satisfaction I will have, for I will take you whole and 
broil you for breakfast." He had no sooner uttered 
this cruel threat, than tumbling into the pit, he made 
the very foundations of the Mount ring again. " Oh, 
giant," said Jack, "where are you now? Oh faith, 

* Bandoleert were little wooden cases covered with leather, each of them 
containing the charge of powder for a musket, and fastened to a broad band 
of leather, which the penon who was to use them put round hia neck. 



64 FIBESIDE STORIES. 

you are gotten now into Lob's Pound,* where I will 
surely plague you for your threatening words : what do 
you thmk now of broUing me for your breakfast ? will 
no other diet serve you but poor Jack?" Thus did 
little Jack tantalize the big giant, as a cat does a mouse 
when she knows it cannot escape, and when he had 
tired of that amusement, he gave him a heavy blow with 
his pickaxe on the very crown of his head, which 
*' tumbled him down," and killed him on the spot* 
When Jack saw he was dead, he filled up the pit with 
earth, and went to search the cave, which he found con- 
tained much treasure. The magistrates, in the exube- 
rance of their joy, did not add to Jack's gains from their 
own, but after the best and cheapest mode of payment, 
made a declaration he should henceforth be termed 
Jack the Giant-killer, and presented him with a sword 
and embroidered belt, on the latter of which were in- 
scribed these words in letters of gold : 

Here's the right valiant Oomish man. 
Who slew the giant Oormelian. 

The news of Jack's victory, as might be expected, 
soon spread over all the West of England, so that ano- 
ther giant, named Thnnderbore, hearing of it, and en- 
tertaining a partiality for his race, vowed to be revenged 
on the little hero, if ever it was his fortune to light on 
him. This giant was the lord of an enchanted castle, 
situated in the midst of a lonely wood. Now Jack, 
about four months after his last exploit, walking near 
this castle in his journey towards Wales, being weary, 
seated himself near a pleasant fountain in the wood, 
*' o'ercanopied with luscious woodbine," and presently 
fell asleep. While he was enjoying his repose, the giant, 
coming to the fountain for water, of course discovered 
him, and recognised the hated individual by the lines 
written on the belt. He immediately took Jack on his 

* An old jocular term for a prison, or any place of confinement. 



FIUESIDE STOBIES. 65 

Bhoulders, and carried him towards his enchanted castle. 
Now, as they passed through a thicket, the rustling of 
the boughs awakened Jack, who was uncomfortahly 
sarprised to find himself in the clutches of the giant. 
His terror was not diminished when, on entering the 
castle, he saw the court-yard strewed with human bones, 
the giant maliciously telling him his own would ere long 
increase the hateful pile. After this assurance, the 
cannibal locked poor Jack in an upper chamber, leaving 
him there while he went to fetch another giant living 
in tbe same wood to keep him company in the antici- 
pated destruction of their enemy. While he was gone, 
dreadful shrieks and lamentations affrighted Jack, 
especially a voice which continually cried, — 

Do what you can to get away. 
Or you'll oecome tbe giant's prey ; 
He's gone to fetch his brother, who 
Will kill, and likewise torture you. 

This warning, and the hideous tone in which it was 
dehvered, almost distracted poor Jack, who going to 
the window, and opening a casement, beheld afar off 
the two giants approaching towards the castle. *'Now," 
quoth Jack to himself, " my death or my deliverance is 
at hand." The event proved that his anticipations were 
well founded, for the giants of those days, however 
powerful, were at best very stupid fellows, and readily 
conquered by stratagem, were it of the humblest kind. 
There happened to be strong cords in the room in which 
Jack was confined, two of which he took, and made a 
strong noose at the end of each ; and while the giant 
was unlocking the iron gate of the castle, he threw the 
ropes over each of their heads, and then, before the 
giants knew what he was about, he drew the other ends 
across a beam, and, pulling with all his might, throttled 
them till they were black in the face. Then, sliding 
down the rope, he came to their heads, and as they 

6§ 



66 FIRESIDE STOBIES. 

conld not defend themselTes, easily despatched them with 
his sword. This business so adroitly accomplished. 
Jack released the fair prisoners in the castle, delivered 
the keys to them, and, like a true knight-arrant, con- 
tinued his journey without condescending to improve 
the condition of his purse. 

This plan, however honorable, was not without its 
disadvantages, and owing to his slender stock of money, 
he was obhged to make the best of his way by travelling 
as hard as he could. At length, losing his road, he was 
belated, and could not get to any place of entertain* 
ment until, coming to a lonesome valley, he found a 
large house, and by reason of his present necessity, 
took courage to knock at the gate. But what was his 
astonishment, when there came forth a monstrous giant 
with two heads ; yet he did not appear so fiery as the 
others were, for he was a Welsh giant, and what he did 
was by private and secret malice under the false show 
of friendship. Jack having unfolded his condition to 
the giant, was shown into a bedroom, where, in the dead 
of night, he heard his host in another apartment utter- 
ing these formidable words : 

Though here you lodge with me this night, 
You shall not see the moming light : 
My club shall dash your brains out quite ! 

" Sa/st thou so," quoth Jack ; " that is like one of 
your Welsh tricks, yet I hope to be cunning enough for 
you." He immediately got out of bed, and« feeling 
about in the dark, found a thick billet of wood, which 
he laid in the bed in his stead, and hid himself in a 
dark corner of the room. Shortly after he had done so, 
in came the Welsh giant, who thoroughly pummelled the 
billet with his club, thinking, naturally enough, he had 
broken every bone in Jack's skin. The next mormng, 
however, to the inezpressible surprise of the giant. Jack 
came down stairs as if nothing had happened, and gave 



FIRESIDE STORIES. 67 

him thanks for his night's IcMlging. ^' How have you 
rested,'' quoth the giant ; " did you not feel anything 
in the night ?" Jack provokingly rephed, " No, nothing 
but a rat which gave me two or three flaps with her 
tail/' This reply was totally incomprehensible to the 
giant, who of course saw anything but a joke in it. 
However, concealing his amazement as weU as he could, 
he took jack in to breakfast, assigning to each a bowl 
containing four gallons of hasty pudding. One would 
have thought that the greater portion of so extravagant 
an allowance would have been declined by our hero, 
but he was unwilling the giant should imagine his in- 
capability to eat it, and accordingly placed a large 
leather bag under his loose coat, in such a position that 
he could convey the pudding into it without the decep- 
tion being perceived . Break&s t at length being finished. 
Jack excited the giant's curiosity by offering to show 
him an extraordinary sleight of hand ; so taking a knife, 
he ripped the leather bag, and out of course descended 
on the ground all the hasty pudding. The giant had 
not the slightest suspidon of the trick, veritably be- 
lieving the pudding came from its natural receptacle ; 
and having the same antipathy to being beaten, ex*- 
claimed in true Welsh, ''Odds splutters, hur can do 
that trick hurself." The sequel may be readily guessed. 
The monster took the knife, and thinking to follow 
Jack's example with impunity, killed himself on the 
spot.* 

King Arthur's only son requested his father to furnish 
him with a large sum of money, in order that he might 
go and seek his fortune in the principality of Wales, 
vhere lived a beautiful lady possessed with seven evil 
spirits. The king tried all he could do to persuade him to 

* The foregoing portion of this wonderful history is that most generally 
known ; but the incidents now become more complicated, and after the in- 
troduction of Arthur's son upon the scene, we arrive at particulars which 
have long been banished from the nursery library. 



68 FIRESIDE STOEIES. 

alter his determiuation, but it was all in vain, so at last 
he granted his request, and the prince set out with two 
horses, one loaded with money, the other for himself to 
ride upon. Now, after several days' travel, he came to 
a market-town in Wales, where he beheld a vast con- 
course of people gathered together. The prince de- 
manded the reason of it, and was told that they had 
arrested a corpse for several large sums of money which 
the deceased owed when he died. The prince replied 
that it was a pity creditors should be so cruel, and said, 
" Go bury the dead, and let his creditors come to my 
lodging, and there their debts shall be discharged." 
They accordingly came, but in such great numbers, 
that before night he had almost left himself penniless. 
Now Jack the Giant-killer happened to be in the town 
while these transactions took place, and he was so 
pleased with the generosity exhibited by the prince, that 
he offered to become his servant, an offer which was 
immediately accepted. The next morning they set for- 
ward on their journey, when, as they were just leaving 
the town, an old woman called after the prince, saying, 
" He has owed me twopence these seven years ; pray 
pay me as well as the rest.'' So reasonable and urgent 
a demand could not be resisted, and the prince imme- 
diately discharged the debt, but it took the last penny 
be had to accomplish it. This event, though generally 
ridiculed by heroes, was one by no means overlooked by 
the prince, who required all Jack's assuring eloquence to 
console him. Jack himself, indeed, had a very poor 
exchequer, and after their day's refreshment, they were 
entirely without money. "VHien night drew on, the 
prince was anxious to secure a lodging, but as they had 
no means to hire one. Jack said, '^ Never mind, master, 
we shall do well enough, for I have an uncle lives within 
two miles of this place ; he is a huge and monstrous 
giant with three heads ; he'll fight five hundred men in 
^*mour, and make them flee before him.*' "Alas!" 



FIRESIDE STOBIES. 69 

qaoih the prince, " what shall we do there ? He'll cer- 
tainly chop us up at a mouthful. Nay, we are scarce 
enough to fill his hollow tooth !" " It is no matter for 
that," quoth Jack ; " I myself will go before, and pre- 
pare the way for you ; therefore tarry and wait till I 
return.*' Jack then rides off full speed, and coming to 
the gate of the castle, he knocked so loud that the 
neighbouring hills resounded like thunder. The giant, 
terribly vexed with the liberty taken by Jack, roared 
out, ** Who's there?" He was answered, **None but 
your poor cousin Jack." Quoth he, "What news with 
my poor cousin Jack?" He replied, "Dear uncle, 
heavy news." "God wot," quoth the giant, "prithee 
what heavy news can come to me ? I am a giant with 
three heads, and besides thou knowest I can fight five 
hundred men in armour, and make them fly like chaff 
before the wind." " Oh, but," quoth Jack, " here's 
the prince a-coming with a thousand men in armour to 
kill you, and destroy all that you have !" " Oh, cousin 
Jack^" said the giant, " this is heavy news indeed ! I 
will immediately run and hide myself, and thou shalt 
lock, bolt, and bar me in, and keep the keys till the 
prince is gone." Jack joyfully complied with the giant's 
request, and fetching lus master, they feasted and made 
themselves merry whilst the poor giant laid trembling 
in a vault under ground. 

In the morning. Jack furnished the prince with a 
fresh supply of gold and silver, and then sent him three 
miles forward on his journey, concluding, according to 
the story-book, "he was then pretty well out of the 
smell of the giant." Jack afterwards returned, and 
liberated the giant from the vault, who asked what 
he should give him for preserring the castle from de- 
stniction. " Why," quoth Jack, " I desire nothing 
bat the old coat and cap^ together with the old rusty 
sword and slippers which are at your bed's head." 
Quoth the giant^ "Thou shalt have them, and pray 



70 FIEESIDE STORIES. 

keep them for my sake, for they are things of excellent 
use ; the coat will keep you invisible, the cap will fur- 
nish you with knowledge, the sword cuts asunder what- 
ever you strike, and the shoes are of extraordinary 
swiftness. These may be serviceable to you : therefore 
take them with all my heart." 

Jack was delighted with these useful presents, and 
having overtaken his master, they quickly arrived at the 
lady's house, who, finding the prince to be a suitor, 
prepared a splendid banquet for him. After the repast 
was concluded, she wiped his mouth with a handkerchief, 
and then concealed it in her dress, saying, *' You must 
show me that handkerchief to-morrow morning, or else 
you will lose your head." The prince went to bed in 
great sorrow at this hard condition, but fortunately 
Jack's cap of knowledge instructed him how it was to 
be f aliUled. In the middle of the night she called upon 
her familiar* to carry her to the evU spirit. Jack im- 
mediately put on his coat of darkness, and his shoes of 
swiftness, and was there before her, his coat rendering 
him iuTisible. When she entered the lower regions, 
she gave the handkerchief to the spirit, who laid it upon 
a shelf, whence Jack took it, and brought it to his 
master, who showed it to the lady the next day, and so 
saved his life. The next evening at supper she saluted 
the prince, telling him he must show her the lips to- 
morrow morning that she kissed last this night, or lose 
his head. He replied, '^ If you kiss none but mine, I 
will." *'That is neither here nor there," said she, 
** if you do not, death is your portion !" At midnight 
she went below as before, and was angry with the spirit 
for letting the handkerchief go : " But now," quoth she, 
" I will be too hard for the prince, for I will kiss thee, 
and he is to show me thy lips." She did so, and Jack, 
who was standing by, cut off the spirit's head, and 
brought it under his invisible coat to his master, who 

* An attendant spirit. 



FIRESIDE STORIES. 7X 

produced it triamphantly the next morning before the 
lady. This feat destroyed the enchantment, the evil 
spirits immediately forsook her, and she appeared still 
more sweet and lovely, beautiful as she was before. 
They were married the next morning, and shortly after- 
wards went to the court of King Arthur, where Jack» 
for his eminent services, was created one of the knights 
of the Bound Table. 

Our hero, having been successful in all his under- 
takings, and resolving not to remain idle, but to perform 
what services he could for the honour of his country, 
humbly besought his majesty ta fit him out with a 
horse and money to enable him to travel in search of 
new adventures ; for, said he, " there are many giants 
yet living in the remote part of Wales, to the unspeak- 
able damage of your majesty's subjects ; wherefore may 
it please you to encourage me, I do not doubt but in a 
short time to cut them off root and branch, and so rid 
all the realm of those giants and monsters in human 
shape." We need scarcely say that Jack's generous 
offer was at once accepted. The king furnished him 
with the necessary accoutrements, and Jack set out with 
his magical cap, sword, and shoes, the better to perform 
the dangerous enterprises which now lay before him. 

After traveUing over several hills and mountains, the 
country through which he passed offering many impedi- 
ments to travellers, on the third day he arrived at a very 
large wood, which he had no sooner entered than his 
ears were assailed with piercing shrieks. Advancing 
softly towards the place where the cries appeared to 
proceed from, he was horror-struck at perceiving a huge 
giant dragging along a fair lady, and a knight her hus- 
band, by the hair of their heads, "with as much ease," 
says the original narrative, " as if they had been a pair 
of gloves." Jack shed tears of pity on the fate of this 
hapless couple, but not suffering his feelings to render 
him neglectful of action, he put on his invisible coat> 



72 FIEESIDE STORIES. 

and taking with him his infallible sword, succeeded, after 
considerable trouble, and many cuts, to despatch the 
monster, whose dying groans were so terrible, that they 
made the whole wood ring again. The courteous knight 
and his fair lady were overpowered with gratitude, and, 
after returning Jack their best thanks, they invited him 
to their residence, there to recruit his strength after the 
frightful encounter, and receive more substantial de* 
monstrations of their obligations to him. Jack, how- 
ever, declared that he would not rest until he had found 
out the giant's habitation. The knight, on hearing this 
determination, was very sorrowful, and replied, " Noble 
stranger, it is too much to run a second hazard : this 
monster lived in a den under yonder mountain, with a 
brother more fierce and cruel than himself. Therefore, 
if you should go thither, and perish in the attempt, it 
would be a heart-breaking to me and my lady : let me 
persuade you to go with us, and desist from any further 
pursuit." The knight*s reasoning had the very opposite 
efiect that was intended, for Jack, hearing of another 
giant, eagerly embraced the opportunity of displaying 
his skill, promising, however, to return to the knight 
when he had accomplished his second labour. 

He had not ridden more than a mile and a half, when 
the cave mentioned by the knight appeared to view, near 
the entrance of which he beheld the giant, sitting upon 
a block of timber, with a knotted iron club by his side, 
waiting, as he supposed, for his brother's return with 
his barbarous prey. This giant is described as having 
''goggle eyes like flames of fire, a countenance grim and 
ugly, cheeks like a couple of large flitches of bacon, the 
bristles of his beard resembling rods of iron wire, and 
locks that hung down upon his brawny shoulders like 
curled snakes or hissing adders." Jack alighted from 
his horse, and putting on the invisible coat, approached 
near the giant, and said softly, ''Oh! are you there? it 
will not be long ere I shall take you fast by the beard." 



FIRBSIDE STORIES. 73 

The giant all this while coald not see hinii on account 
of his inyisible coat, so that Jack, coming up close to 
the monster, struck a blow with his sword at his head, 
but unfortunately missing his aim, he cut off the nose 
instead. The giant, as we may suppose, "roared like claps 
of thunder," and began to lay about him in all directions 
with his iron club so desperately, that even Jack was 
fiigbtened, but exercising his usual ingenuity, he soon 
despatched him. After this. Jack cut off the giant's 
head, and sent it, together with that of his brother, to 
King Arthur, by a waggoner he hired for that purpose, 
who gave an account of all his wonderful proceedings. 
The redoubtable Jack next proceeded to search the 
g^t's cave in search of his treasure, and passing along 
through a great many winding passages, he came at 
length to a large room paved with freestone, at the upper 
end of which was a boiling caldron, and on the right 
hand a large table, at which the giants usually dined. 
After passing this dining-room, he came to a large and 
well-secured den filled with human captives, who were 
fattened and taken at intervals for food, as we do 
poultry. Jack set the poor prisoners at liberty, and, to 
compensate them for their sufferings and dreadful anti- 
cipations, shared the giant's treasure equally amongst 
them, and sent them to their homes overjoyed at their 
unexpected deliverance. 

It was about sunrise when Jack, after the conclusion 
of this adventure, having had a good night's rest, 
mounted his horse to proceed on his journey, and, by 
the' help of directions, reached the knight's house about 
noon. He was received with the most extraordinary 
demonstrations of joy, and his kind host, out of respect to 
Jack, prepared a feast which lasted many days, all the 
nobihty and gentry in the neighbourhood being invited 
to it. The knight related the hero's adventures to his 
Assembled guests, and presented him with a beautiful 
nng, on which was engraved a representation of the 

7 



74 FIRESIDE STOBIES. 

giant dragging the distressed knight and his lady^ with 
this motto : 

We were in sad distress yon see, 
Under the giant's fierce command. 

Bat gaia'd oar liyes and liberty 
By valiant Jack's yictoiioas hand. 

But earthly happiness is not generally of long dura- 
tion» and so in some respects it proved on the present 
occasion, for in the midst of the festivities arrived a 
messenger with the dismal intelligence that one Thnn- 
derdeU, a giant with two heads, having heard of the 
death of his two kinsmen, came from die north to be 
revenged on Jack, and was akeady within a mile of the 
knight's house, the country people flying before him in 
all directions. The intelligence had no effect on the 
dauntless Jack, who immediately said, ** Let him come ! 
I have a tool to pick his teeth ;" and with this elegant 
assertion, he invited the guests to witness his perform- 
ance from a high terrace in the garden of the castle. 

It is now necessary to inform the reader that the 
knight's house or castle was situated in an island en- 
compassed with a moat thirty feet deep, and twenty 
feet wide, passable by a drawbridge. Now Jack, in- 
tending to accomplish his purpose by a clever stratagem, 
employed men to cut through this drawbridge on both 
sides nearly to the middle ; and then, dressing himself 
in his invisible coat, he marched against the giant with 
his well-tried sword. As he approached his adversary, 
although invisible, the giant, being, as it appears,, an 
epicure in such matters, was aware of his approach, and 
exclaimed, in a fearful tone of voice — 

Fi, fee, fo, fam !* 

I smell the blood of an English man ! 
Be he alive or be he dead, 

ril grind his bones to make me bread ! 

* These lines are quoted by Edgar in the tragedy of King Lear. 



FIRESIDE STORIES. 75 

" Say you so/' said Jack ; " then you are a monstrous 
miller indeed." The giant, deeply incensed, replied, 
" Art thou that villain who killed my kinsman ? then I 
will tear thee with my teeth, and grind thy bones to 
powder." ** But," says Jack, still provoking him, "you 
must catch me first, if you please :" so putting aside his 
invisible coat, so that the giant might see him, and put- 
ting on his wonderful shoes, he enticed him into a chase 
by just approaching near enough to give him an appa- 
rent chance of capture. The giant, we are told, "fol- 
lowed like a walking castle, so that the very foundations 
of the earth seemed to shake at every step." Jack led 
him a good distance, in order that the wondering gaests 
at the castle might see him to advantage, but at last, to 
end the matter, he ran over the drawbridge, the giant 
pursuing him with his club ; but coming to the place 
where the bridge was cut, the giant's great weight burst 
it asunder, and he was precipitated into the moat, where 
he rolled about, says the author, " like a vast whale." 
While the monster was in this condition. Jack sadly 
bantered him about the boast he had made of grinding 
bis bones to powder, but at length, having teased him 
sufficiently, a cart-rope was cast over the two heads of 
the giant, and he was drawn ashore by a team of horses, 
where Jack served him as he had done his relatives, cut 
off his heads, and sent them to King Arthur. 

It would seem that the giant-killer rested a short 
time after this adventure, but he was soon tired of inac- 
tivity, and again went in search of another giant, the last 
whose head he was destined to chop off. After passing 
a long distance, he came at length to a large mountain, 
at the foot of which was a very lonely house. Knocking 
at the door, it was opened by " an ancient^ man, with a 
head as white as snow," who received Jack very courte- 
ously, and at once consented to his request for a lodging. 
Whilst they were at supper, the old man, who appears 

* An old man. 



76 FJBESIDB STOSIES. 

to have known more than was suspected, tkus addressed 
the hero : " Son, I am sensible you are a conqueror of 
giants, and I therefore inform you that on the top of 
this mountain is an enchanted castle, maintained by a 
giant named Galligantus, who, by the help of a conjuror, 
gets many knights into his castle, where they are trans- 
fi^rmed into sundry shapes and forms : but, above all, I 
especially lament a duke's daughter, whom they took 
from her father's garden, bringing her through the air 
in a chariot drawn by fiery dragons, and securing her 
within the castle walls, transformed her into the shape 
of a hind. Now, though a great many knights have 
endeavoured to break the enchantment, and work her 
deliverance, yet no one has been able to accomplish it, 
on account of two fiery griffins which are placed at the 
gate, and which destroyed them at their approach ; but 
you, my son, being furnished with an invisible coat, may 
pass by them undiscovered, and on the gates of the 
castle you will find engraven in large characters by what 
means the enchantment may be broken." The un- 
daunted Jack at once accepted the commission, and 
pledged his faith to the old man to proceed early in the 
morning on this new adventure. 

In the morning, as soon as it was daylight. Jack put 
on his invisible coat, and prepared himself for the enter- 
prise. When he had reached the top of the mountain, 
he discovered the two fiery griffins, but, being invisible, 
he passed them without the slightest danger. When he 
had reached the gate of the castle, he noticed a golden 
trumpet attached to it, under which were written in 
large characters the following lines : 

Whoever doth this trumpet blow,* 
Shall soon the giant overthrow. 
And break the olack enchantment straight. 
So all shall be in happy state. 

* Variations of this incident are found in romances of all nations. 



FIRESIDE STORIES. 77 

Jack at once accepted the challenge, and putting the 
trnmpet to his mouth, gave a hlast that made the hills 
re-echo. The castle trembled to its foundations, and 
the giant and conjuror were overstricken with fear, 
knowing that the reign of their enchantments was at an 
end. The former was speedily slain by Jack, but the 
conjuror, mounting up into the air, was carried away in 
a whirlwind, and never heard of more. The enchant- 
ments were immediately broken, and all the lords and 
ladies, who had so long been cruelly transformed, were 
standing on the native earth iu their natural shapes, 
the castle having vanished with the conjuror. 

The only relic of the giant which was left was the 
head, which Jack cut off in the first instance, and which 
we must suppose rolled away from the influence of the 
enchanted castle, or it would have " vanished into thin 
air'" with the body. It was fortunate that it did so, for 
it proved an inestimable trophy at the court of King 
Arthur, where Jack the Giant-killer was shortly after- 
wards united to the duke's daughter whom he had freed 
from enchantment, " not only to the joy of the court, 
but of all the kingdom." To complete his happiness, 
he was endowed with a noble house and estates, and his 
penchant for giant-killing having subsided, or, what ia 
more prohable, no more monsters appearing to interrupt 
bis tranquillity, he accomplished the usual conclusion to 
these romantic narratives, by passing the remainder of 
Mb life in the enjoyment of every domestic felicity. 

[I have alluded to the quotation from this primitive 
romance made by Shakespeare in King Lear, but if the 
story of Rowland, published by Mr. Jamieson, is to be 
trusted, it would seem that the great dramatist was in- 
debted to a ballad of the time. This position would, 
however, compel us to adopt the belief that the words 
of the giant are also taken from the ballad ; a supposi- 
tion to which I am most unwilling to assent. In fact, I 

7§ 



78 FISSSIBE STOBIES. 

believe that Edgar quotes from two different composi- 
tions, the first line from a ballad on Rowland, the second 
from Jack and the Giants. ^^And Rowland into the 
castle came" is a line in the second ballad of Bosmer 
Hafmand, or the Merman Bosmer, in the Danish Kcsmpe 
Viser, p. 165. The story alluded to above may be 
briefly given as follows. 

The sons of King Arthur were playing at ball in the 
merry town of Carlisle, and their sister, "Burd* Ellen" 
was in the midst of them. Now it happened that Child 
Rowland gave the ball such a powerful kick with his 
foot that "o'er the kirk he gar'd it flee." Burd Ellen 
went round about in search of the ball, but what was 
the consternation of her brothers when they found that 
she did not return, although "they bade lang and ay 
langer," — 

They sought her east, they sought her west, 

lliey sought her up and down ; 
And wae were the hearts in merry Carlisle, 

!For she was nae gait found. 

At last her eldest brother went to the Warlock or Wizard 
Merlin, and asked him if he knew where his sister, the 
fair Burd Ellen, was. " The fair Burd Ellen," said the 
Warlock Merlin, "is carried away by the fairies, and is 
now in the castfelDf the King of Elfland; and it were 
too bold an undertaking for the stoutest knight in 
Christendom to bring her back." The brother, how- 
ever, insisted upon undertaking the enterprise, and after 
receiving proper instructions from Merlin, which he 
failed in observing, he set out on his perilous expedition, 
and was never more seen. 

The other brothers took the same course, and shared 
ft similar fate, till it came to the turn of Child Rowland, 
who with great difficulty obtained the consent of his 

* It is almost unnecessary to observe that burd was an ancient term f(V 



FIRESIDE STOBIES. 79 

mother, for Queen Guinever began to be afraid of losing 
all her children. Rowland, haying received her blessing, 
girt on bis father s celebrated sword Excaliber, that never 
struck in vain, and repaired to Merlin's cave. The 
wizard gave him all necessary instructions for his journey 
and conduct, the most important of which were that he 
should kill every person he met with after entering the 
land of Faerie, and should neither eat nor drink of what 
was offered him in that country, whatever his hunger or 
thirst might be ; for if he tasted or touched in Elfland, 
he must remain in the power of the elves, and never see 
middle-earth again. 

Child Rowland faithfully promised to observe the in- 
Btractions of Merlin, and he accordingly went to Elf- 
land, where he found, as the wizard had foretold, the 
king's horeeherd feeding his horses. " Canst thou tell 
me," said Rowland, " where the castle of the king of 
Elfland is V " I cannot," replied the horseherd, " but 
go a little further, and thou wilt come to a cowherd, and 
perhaps he will know." When he had made this an- 
swer, Rowland, remembering his instructions, took his 
good s;word, and cut off the head of the horseherd. He 
then went a little further, and met with a cowherd, to 
whom he repeated the same question, and obtained the 
same answer. Child Rowland then cut off the cow- 
herd's heady and having pursued exactly the same course 
with a shepherd, goatherd, and a swineherd, he is re- 
ferred by the last to a hen-wife, who, in reply to his 
question, said, *' Go on yet a little farther till you come 
to a round green hill, surrounded with terraces firom the 
bottom to the top : go round it three times widershins,* 
and every time say, 'Open door, open door, and let 
me come in I' and the third time the door will open, and 
you may go in." Child Rowland immediately cut off 
the hen-wife's head in return for her intelligence, and 

* The contrary way to the courw of the sun. 



80 FIRESIDE STORIES. 

following her directions, a door in the hill opened, and 
he went in. As soon as he entered, the door closed be- 
hind him, and he traversed a long passage, which was 
dimly but pleasantly lighted by crystallized rock, till he 
came to two wide and lofty folding-doors, which stood 
ajar. He opened them, and entered an immense hall, 
which seemed nearly as big as the hill itself. It was 
the most magnificent apartment in all the land of 
Faerie, for the pillars were of gold and silver, and the 
keystones ornamented with clusters of diamonds. A 
gold chain hung from the middle of the roof, supporting 
an enormous lamp composed of one hollowed transpa- 
rent pearl, in the midst of which was a large magical 
carhuncle that beautifully illumined the whole of the 
hall. 

At the upper end of the hall, seated on a splendid 
sofa, under a rich canopy, was his sister the Burd Ellen, 
*'kembing her yellow hair wi* a silver kemb," who im- 
mediately perceiving him, was sorrow-struck at the 
anticipation of his being destroyed by the king of Elf- 
land,— 

And hear ye this, my youngest brither. 

Why badena ye not at hame ? 
Had ye a hunder and thousand lives. 

Ye canna brook ane o' them. 

And she informs him that he will certainly lose his life 
if the king finds him in the hall. A long conversation 
then took place, and Rowland tells her all his adven- 
tures, concluding his narrative with the observation that, 
after his long journey, he is very hungry. 

On this the Burd Ellen shook her head, and looked sor- 
rowfully at him ; but, impelled by her enchantment, she 
rose up, and procured him a golden bowl full of bread and 
milk. It was then that the Child Rowland remembered 
the instructions of the Warlock Merlin, and he passionately 
exclaimed, ''Burd Ellen, I will neither eat nor drink tiU 
I set thee free !*' Immediately this speech was uttered, 



FIRESIDE STOBIES. 81 

the folding-doors of the hall burst open with tremen- 
dous violence, and in came the king of £lf-land, — 

With, Fe, fi, fo, fmn, 
I smell the blood of a Christian man ! 
Be he dead, be he living, wi* my brand 
rU clash his hams frae nis ham-pan !* 

" Strike, then. Bogle, if thou darest," exclaimed the 
undaunted Child Rowland, and a furious combat ensued, 
but Rowland, by the help of his good sword, conquered 
the elf-king, sparing his life on condition that he would 
restore to him his two brothers and sister. The kins 
joyfully consented, and having disenchanted them by 
the anointment of a bright red liquor, they all four re- 
turned in triumph to merry Carlisle.] 

TOM HICKATHRIFT. 

[Tom Hickathrift belongs to the same series as Jack 
&e Giant-kiUer, one of the popular corruptions of old 
northern romances. It seems to allude to some of the 
insurrections in the Isle of Ely, such as that of Hereward, 
described in Wright's Essays, ii. 91. Spelman, how- 
ever, describes a tradition, which he says was credited 
by the inhabitants of Tylney, in which Hickifric appears 
as the assertor of the rights of their ancestors, and the 
means he employed on the occasion correspond with 
incidents in the following tale. The entire passage is 
worth transcription. *' In Marslandia sitae sunt Wal- 
soka, Waltona, et Walpola. In viciniis jacent Terrington 
et St. Maries— adjacet Tylney veteris utique Tylneiorum 
familise radix. Hie se expandit insignis area quae a pla- 
nicie nuncupatur Tylney Smeeth, pinguis adeo et luxu- 
rians ut Padnana pascua videatur superasse. Tuentur 
earn indigense velut aras et focos, fabellamque recitant 
longa petitam vetustate de Hickifirico (nescio quo) 
Hail ilHus instar in Scotorum Chronicis qui civium 

• LiteraUy, *' I wiU dash his brains from his skull with my sword." 



82 FIRESIDE STORIES. 

snonim dedignatns fuga, aratrum quod agebat solvit; 
arreptoqae temone foribundus insifiit in liostes yicto- 
riamque ademit exultantibas. Sic cwp. de agri istias 
possessione aciiter olim dimicatum esset, inter fundi 
dominum et yillarom incolas, nee valerent bi adversus 
earn consistere, redeuntibus occnrrit Hickifrickas, 
axemque excutiena a curru quern agebat, eo vice gladii 
U8US : rota, clypei; invasores repulit ad ipsos quibns 
nnne funguntur terminos. Ostendunt in coemeterio 
Tilniensi sepulcbrnm sui pugilis, axem cum rota in- 
sculptum exbibens." — Icenia, Descriptio Norfolcise, p. 
138. Hearne mentions tbis gravestone, and perbaps 
some Norfolk topographer will tell ns if it now exists.] 

Tbe autbor of tbe renowned History of Tom Hicka- 
tbrift prefaces bis narrative witb tbe following consola- 
tory exordium : — 

And if tbou dost buy this book. 
Be sure that you do on it lool^ 
And read it o'er, then thou wilt say 
Thy money is not thrown away. 

In tbe reign before William tbe Conqueror, I bave 
read in ancient history that there dwelt a man in the 
parish of the Isle of Ely, in tbe county of Cambridge, 
named Thomas Hickatbrift, a poor labouring man, but 
so strong that he was able to do in one day the ordi- 
nary work of two. He had an only son, whom he 
christened Thomas, after his own name. Tbe old man 
put bis son ''to good learning," but be would take 
none, for he was, as we call them in this age, none of 
tbe wisest, but something soft, and had no docility at 
all in him. God calling this good man, the father, to 
bis rest, his mother, being tender of him, maintained 
him by her hard labour as well as she could ; but tbis 
was no easy matter, for Tom would sit all day in tbe 
chimney-corner, instead of doing anything to assist her, 
and although at the period we are speaking of, be was 



FIRESIDE STOBIES. 83 

only ten years old, he would eat more than four or five 
ordinary men, and was five feet and a half in height, 
and two feet and a half broad. His hand was more 
like a shoulder of mutton than a boy's hand, and he 
was altogether like a little monster, '' but yet his great 
strength was not known." 

Tom's strength came to be known in this manner. 
His mother, it appears, as well as himself, for they lived 
in the primitive days of merry old England, slept upon 
straw. This was in character with the wretched mud 
hovels then occupied by the labouring population, not 
half so good as many pigsties are now-a-days. Now 
being a tidy old creature, she must every now and then 
replenish her homely couch, and one day, having been 
promised a " bottle" of straw by a neighbouring farmer, 
after considerable entreaty, she prevailed on her son to 
go to fetch it. Tom, however, made her borrow a cart- 
rope first, before he would budge a step, without con- 
descending to enter into any explanation respecting the 
use he intended it for ; and the poor woman, too glad 
to obtain his assistance on any terms, readily complied 
with his singular request. Tom, swinging the rope 
romid his shoulders, went to the farmer's, and found 
bim with two men, thrashing in a bam. Having men- 
tioned the object of his visit, the farmer somewhat in- 
considerately told him he might take as much straw as 
he could carry. Tom immediately took him at his 
word, and, placing the rope in a right position, rapidly 
made up a bundle containing at least a cartload, the 
men jeering him on the absurdity of raising a pile they 
imagined no man could carry, and maliciously asking 
bim if his rope was long enough. Their merriment, 
however, was not of long duration, for Tom flung the 
enormous bundle over his shoulders, and walked away 
with it without any apparent exertion, much to the 
astonishment and dismay of the master and his men. 

After this exploit, Tom was no longer suiiered to 



84 FIRESIDE STORIES. 

enjoj bis idle humours. Every one was endeaToniing 
to secure his services, and we are told many remarkable 
tales of bis extraordinary strength, still more wondeifal 
than the one just related. On one occasion, having 
been offered as great a bundle of firewood as he could 
carry, he marched off with one of the largest trees in 
the forest ! Tom was also extremely fond of attending 
fairs; and in cudgelling, wrestling, or throwing the 
hammer, there was no one who could compete with 
him. He thought nothing of flinging a huge hammer 
into the middle of a river a mile off, and in fact per- 
formed such extraordinary feats, that it was currently 
reported throughout the country he had dealings with 
the Evil One. 

Tom Hickatbrift, too, was a very care-for-notbing 
fellow, and there were very few persons in all the Isle 
of Ely who dared to give him an ill word. Those who 
did paid very dearly for their impertinence, and Tom 
was, in fact, paramount over his companions. His 
great strengUi, however, caused him to be much sought 
after by those who were in want of efficient labour, and 
at length a brewer at Lynn, who required a strong, 
lusty fellow to carry his beer to the Marsh and to 
Wisbech, after much persuasion, and promising him a 
new suit of clothes, and as much as he liked to eat and 
drink, secured Tom for tbia purpose. The distance be 
daily travelled with the beer was upwards of twenty 
miles, for although there was a shorter cut through the 
Marsh, no one durst go that way for fear of a monstrous 
giant, who was lord of a portion of the district, and who 
killed or made slaves of every one he could lay his 
hands upon. 

Now in the course of time, Tom was thoroughly tired 
of going such a roundabout way, and without comma- 
nicating his purpose to any one, he was resolved to 
pass through the giant's domain, or lose his life in 
the attempt. This was a bold undertaking, but good 



FIRESIDE 8T0BIES. 85 

living had so inereased Tom's strength and courage^ 
that, Yentaresome as he was before, his hardiness was 
so much increased that he would have faced a still 
greater danger. He accordingly drove his cart in the 
forbidden direction, flinging the gates wide open, as if 
for the purpose of making his daring more conspicuous. 
At length he was espied by the giant, who was indig- 
nant at his boldness, but consded himself with the 
reflection that Tom and the beer would soon become 
his prey. " Sirrah," said the monster, " who gave you 
permission to come tliis way ? Do you not know how 
I make all stand in fear of me? and you, like an impu- 
dent rogue, must come and fling^ my gates open at your 
pleasure ! How dare you presume to do so i Are you 
careless of your life ? Do not you care what you do ? 
But I will make you an example for all rogues under 
the sun ! Dost thou not see how many thousand heads 
hang upon yonder tree, heads of those who have of- 
fended against my laws; but thy head shall hang 
higher than all the rest for an example I" But Tom 
made him this impudent answer, *' A dishclout in your 
teeth for your news, for you shall not find me to be one 
of them !" '' No T' said the giant, in astonishment and 
indignation ; " and what a fool you must be if you come 
to fi^t with such a one as I am, and bring never a 
▼eapon to defend yourself V Quoth Tom, " I have a 
weapon here will make you know you are a traitorly 
rogue." This impertinent speech highly incensed the 
giant, who immediately ran to his cave for his club, in- 
tending to dash out Tom^s brains at one blow. Tom 
was now mudi distressed for a weapon, that necessary 
accoutrement in his expedition having by some means 
escaped his memory, and he began to reflect how very 
little his whip would avail him against a monster twelve 
feet in height, and six feet round the waist, small di- 
mensions certainly for a giant, but sufQcient to be 
formidable. But while the giant was gone for his club, 

8 



86 FIRESIDE STORIES. 

Tom bethought himself, and turning his cart upside 
down, adroitly takes out the axletree, which would 
serve him for a staff, and removing a wheel, adapts it 
to his arm in lieu of a shield ; very good weapons in- 
deed in time of trouble, and worthy of Tom's ingenuity. 
When the monster returned with his club, he was 
amazed to see the weapons with which Tom had armed 
himself, but uttering a word of defiance, he bore down 
upon the poor fellow with such heavy strokes, that it 
was as much as Tom could do to defend himself with 
his wheel. Tom, however, at length managed to give 
the giant* a heavy blow with the axletree on the side 
of his head, that he nearly reeled over. " What !" said 
Tom, "are you tipsy with my strong beer already?" 
This 'inquiry did not, as we may suppose, mollify the 
giant, who laid on his blows so sharply and heavily 
that Tom was obliged to act on the defensive. By and 
by, not making any impression on the wheel, he got 
almost tired out, and was obliged to ask Tom if he 
would let him drink a little, and then he would fight 
again. "No," said Tom, "my mother did not teach 
me that wit ; who would be fool then V* The sequel 
may readily be imagined, and Tom having beaten the 
giant, and, disregarding his supplications for mercy, 
cut off his head, entered the cave, which he found com- 
pletely filled with gold and silver. 

The news of this celebrated victory rapidly spread 
throughout the country, for the giant had been a com- 
mon enemy to the inhabitants. They made bonfires for 
joy, and testified their respect to Tom by every means 
in their power. A few days afterwards, Tom took pos- 
session of the cave and all the giant's treasure. He 
pulled down the former, and built a magnificent house 
on the spot ; but with respect to the liuad forcibly ob- 

* In the original it is lant the giant, the term lent being old Englbh or 
Saxon for gave. The expression suflSdently proves the antiquity of the 
version. 



FIRESIDE STOBTES. 87 

tained by the giant, part of it he gave to the poor for 
their common, merely reserving enough to maintain 
bimself and his good old mother, Jane Hickathrift^ 
His treasure, we may suppose, notwithstanding this 
great liberality, enabled him to maintain a noble esta- 
blishment, for he is represented as having numbers of 
servants, and a magnificent park of deer. He also 
built a famous church, which was called St. James's, 
because it was on that saint's day that he had killed the 
giant. And what was as good and better than all this, 
be was no longer called Tom Hickathrift by the people, 
bat " Mr. Hickathrift," a title then implying a greater 
advancement in social position that can now scarcely be 
imagined. 

Like many other persons who have become suddenly 
possessed of great wealth, Tom was sadly at a loss to 
know what to do with his money ; nor does this sage 
history condescend to inform us in what manner he 
expended it. He seems, however, to have amused him- 
seLP rarely, attending every sport he could hear of for 
miles round, cracking skulls at cudgel-playing, bear- 
baiting, and all the gentlemanly recreations current in 
those days. At football he could scarcely have been a 
welcome addition to the company, for one kick from 
bis foot, if he caught it in the middle, was sure to send 
the ball so great a distance over hedges and trees that 
it was never seen again. Tom was, also, one evening 
attacked by four robbers ; but they sadly mistook the 
person they had to deal with, for he quickly killed two 
of them, made the others sue for mercy, and carried o£f 
their booty, which amounted to the large sum of two 
hundred pounds. One would have thought the Hicka- 
thrifts were wealthy enough before, but this addition 
to their store was, somehow or other, a source of great 
delight and merriment to Tom's aged mother. 

Tom was a long time before he found i^ny one that 
could match him; but, one day, going through his 



88 FIRESIDE STORIES. 

woods, he met with a lusty tinker, who had a great 
staff on his shoulder, and a lai^e dog to carry his bag 
aod tools. Tom was not particularly courteous ; it 
may readily be supposed that his unvarying successes 
had made him rather oyerbearing; and he somewhat 
rudely asked the tinker what was his business there. 
But the tinker was no man to succumb, and as rudely 
answered, "What's that to you? Fools must needs be 
meddling !" A quarrel was soon raised, and the two 
laid on in good earnest, blow for blow, till the wood 
re-echoed with their strokes. The issue of the contest 
was long doubtful, but, the tinker was so perseyering, 
that Tom confessed he was fairly yanquished ; and they 
then went home together, and were sworn brothers in 
arms ever afterwards. It happened, from the eyents 
that followed, to be a fortunate occurrence. 

In and about the Isle of Ely, many disaffected persons, 
to the number of ten thousand and upwards, drew them- 
selves up in a body, presuming to contend for their an- 
cient rights and liberties, insomuch that the gentry and 
civil magistrates of the county were in great duiger. 
The danger was so great, that the sheriff was obliged to 
come to Tom Hickathrift, under cover of the night, for 
shelter and protection, and gave him a full account of 
the rebellion. Tlie tinker and Tom immediately pro- 
mised their assistance, and they went out as soon as it 
was day, armed with their clubs, the sheriff conducting 
them to the rendezvous of the rebels. When they 
arrived there, Tom and the tinker marched up to the 
leaders of the multitude, and asked them the reason of 
their disturbing the government. To this they answered 
loudly, " Our will is our law, and by that alone will we 
be governed." "Nay," quoth Tom, "if it be so, these 
trusty clubs are our weapons, and by them alone you 
shall be chastised." These words were no sooner 
uttered, than they madly rushed on the immense 
multitude, bearing all before them, laying twenty or 



FIRESIDE STORIES. 89 

thirty sprawling with every blow. It is also related, as 
Bomething rather remarkable, that the tinker struck a 
tall man on the nape of the neck with such immense 
force that his head flew off, and was carried forty feet 
from the body with such violence that it knocked down 
one of the chief ringleaders, killing him on the spot. 
The feats of Tom were no less wonderful; for, after 
haying slain hundreds, and at length broke his club, he 
seized upon " a lusty rawboned miller" as a substitute, 
and made use of him as a weapon, till he had quite 
cleared the field. 

The king of course received intelligence of these ex- 
traordinary exploits, and sent for the two heroes to his 
palace, where a royal banquet was prepared for their 
honour and entertainment, most of the nobility being 
present. Now after the banquet was over, the king 
made a speech, neither too short nor too long, but 
having the extraordinary merit of being mu^ch to the 
purpose. We cannot omit so remarkable a specimen 
of royal eloquence. "These, my guests," said the 
king, " are my trusty and well-beloved subjects, men of 
approved courage and valour ; they are the men that 
overcame and conquered ten thousand rebels who were 
combined for the purpose of disturbing the peace of 
my realm. According to the character I have received 
of Thomas Hickathrift and Henry Nonsuch, my two 
worthy guests here present, they cannot be matched in 
any other kingdom in the world. Were it possible to 
have an army of twenty thousand such as these, I dare 
venture to assert I would act the part of Alexander the 
Great over again. In the meanwhile, as a proof of my 
royal favour, kneel down, Thomas Hickathrift, and re- 
ceive the ancient order of knighthood. And with re- 
spect to Henry Nonsuch, I will settle upon him, as a 
reward for his great services, the sum of forty shillings 
a year for life." After the delivery of this excellent 
address, the king retired, and Tom and Henry shortly 

8§ 



90 FIRESIDE 8T0BIES. 

afterwards took their departure, attended for many 
miles by a portion of the court. 

When Sir Thomas Hickathrift returned home, he 
found, to his great sorrow, that his mother had died 
during his stay at the court. It can scarcely be said 
that he was inconsolable for her loss, but being '^left 
alone in a large and spacious house, he found himself- 
strange and uncouth." He therefore began to consider 
whether it would not be adyisable to seek out for a wife^ 
and hearing of a wealthy young widow not far from 
Cambridge, he went and paid his addresses to her. At 
his first coming, she appeared to favour his suit, but, 
before he paid her a second visit, her fancy had been 
attracted by a more elegant wooer, and Sir Thomas 
actually found him at her feet. The young spark, re- 
lying on the lady^s favour, was vehemently abusive to 
the knight, calling him a great lubberly whelp, a brewer's 
servant, and a person altogether unfitted to make love 
to a lady. Sir Thomas was not a likely man to allow 
such an affiront to go unpunished, so going out in the 
courtyard with the dandy to settle the matter, he gave 
him a kick which sent him over the tops of the houses 
into a pond some distance ofiP, where he would have 
been drowned, had not a poor shepherd, passing by, 
pulled him out with his crook. 

The gallant studied every means of being revenged 
upon the knight, and for this purpose engaged two 
troopers to lie in ambush for him. Tom, however, 
according to the story, "crushed them like cucumbers."* 
Even when he was going to church with his bride to be 
married, he was set upon by one-and-twenty ruffians in 
armour ; but, borrowing a back-sword from one of the 
company, he laid about him with such dexterity, that, 
purposely desiring not to kill any one, at every blow he 
chopped off a leg or an arm, the ground being strewed 

* The author is not very particular in his similes, but this appears to be 
quite peculiar to this history. 



FIRESIDE STOBIES. 91 

with the relics, " as it is with tiles from the tops of the 
hoases after a dreadful storm." His intended and 
friends were mightily amused at all this, and the fair 
one jokingly observed, "What a splendid lot of cripples 
he has made in the twinkling of an eye !" Sir Thomas 
only received a slight scratch, and he consoled himself 
for the trifling misfortune by the conviction he had only 
lost a drop of blood for every limb he had chopped off. 
The marriage ceremony took place without any farther 
adventure, and Sir Thomas gave a great feast on the 
occasion, to which all the poor widows for miles round 
were invited in honour of his deceased mother, and it 
lasted for four days, in memory of the four last victories 
he had obtained. The only occurrence at this feast 
worth mentioning was the theft of a silver cup, which 
was traced to the possession of an old woman of the 
name of Stumbelup,* and the others were so disgusted 
at her ingratitude to their kind host, that she would 
have been hanged on the spot, had not Sir Thomas in- 
terfered, and undertook the appointment of the punish- 
ment. Nor was it otherwise than comical, for she was 
condemned to be drawn through all the streets and lanes 
of Cambridge on a wheelbarrow, holding a placard in 
her hands, which informed the public, — 

I am the nanghty Stumhelup, 
Who tried to steal the silver cup. 

The news of Tom's wedding soon reached the court, 
and the king, remembering his eminent services, im- 
mediately invited him and his lady, who visited their 
bovereign immediately, and were received by him most 
affectionately. While they were on this visit, intelli- 
gence arrived that an extraordinary invasion had taken 
place in the county of Kent. A huge giant riding on a 
dragon, and accompanied with a large number of bears 

* This incident hat been slightly altered, the original narrative being of 
a nature that will not bear an exact transcriptiou. 



92 FIRESIDE STORIES. 

and lions, had landed on the coast of that unfortanate 
county, and was ravaging it in all directions. The king, 
says the history, was " a little startled," and well he 
might he, at such a visitation ; hut, taking advantage of 
the opportune presence of Tom Hickathrift, he solved 
the difficulty hy creating him governor of the Isle of 
Thanet,* and thus making him responsible for the pro- 
tection of the inhabitants from this terrible monster. 

There was a castle in the island, from which the country 
was visible for miles round, and this was the governor's 
abode. He had not been ^ere long before he caught a 
view of the giant, who is described as " mounted upon 
a dreadful dragon, with an iron club upon his shoulders, 
having but one eye, the which was placed in his forehead; 
this eye was larger in compass than a barber's bason, 
and appeared like a flame of fire; his visage was 
dreadful to behold, grim and tawny; the hair of his head 
hung down his back and shoulders like snakes of an 
enormous length; and the bristles of his beard were 
like rasty wire !" It is difficult to imagine a being 
more terrible than this, but Tom was only surprised, 
not frightened, when he saw one day the giant making 
his way to the castle on his formidable dragon. After 
he had well viewed the edifice with his glaring eye, he 
tied the dragon up to a tree, and went up to the castle 
as if he had intended to thrust it down with his shoulder. 
But somehow or other he managed to slip down, so that 
he could not extricate himself, and Tom, advancing with 
his two-handed sword, cut ofif the giant's head at one 
blow, and the dragon's at four, and sent them up in a 
"waggon" to the court of his sovereign. 

The news of Tom's victories reached the ears of his old 
companion, the tinker, who became desirous of sharing 
in his glory, and accordingly joined him at his castle. 

* Id the heading of the chapter in the original it is East Angie$t now 
called the Uie of Thanet^ an error which favours the suppotltioo of the story 
having been adapted from a much older original. 



FIRESIDE STOKIES. 93 

After mutual congratulations, Tom informed him of his 
wish to destroy, without delay, the heasts of prey that 
infested the island. They started for this purpose in 
company, Tom armed with his two-handed sword, and 
the tinker with his long pikestaff. After they had 
trayelled about four or five hours, it was their fortune 
to meet with the whole knot of wild beasts together, 
being in number fourteen, six bears and eight lions. 
The two heroes waited for them with their backs against 
a tree, and whenever they came " within cutting dis- 
tance*' they cut their heads off, and in this manner 
killed all but one lion, who, unfortunately, by an incon- 
siderate movement on the part of Tom, crushed the 
poor tinker to death. The animal was, however, ulti- 
mately slain by Sir Thomas. 

Sir Thomas Hickathrift had killed the giants, dragon, 
and lions, and he had conquered the rebels, but his 
happiness was by no means completed, for he wasincon- 
solate for the loss of his friend. He, however, returned 
home to his lady, and made a grand feast in comme- 
moration of his important victories. The history ter- 
minates with the following brilliant metrical speech he 
made on this festive occasion : 

My friends, while I have strength to stand. 

Most manfally I will pursue 
All dangers, till I clear this land 

Of lions, bears, and tigers, too. 

This you'll find true, or I'm to blame. 

Let it remain upon record, — 
Tom Hickathrift's most glorious fame. 

Whenever yet has broke his word! 



94 FIRESIDE STORIES. 



TOM THUMB. 

[Thnmb stories are common in German and Danish, 
and the English tale comprises much that is found 
in the Northern versions. A writer in the Quarterly 
Review, xxi. 100, enters into some speculations re- 
specting the mythological origin of Tom Thumb, and 
records his persuasion, in which we agree, that several 
of our common nursery tales are remnants of ancient 
fivBoi. Sir W. Scott mentions the Danish popular 
history of Svend TomHng, analysed by Nierup, "a man 
no bigger than a thumb, who would be married to a 
woman three ells and three quarters long." This per- 
sonage is probably commemorated in the nursery rhyme, 

I had a litUe husband 

No bigger than my thumb : 
I put him in a pint-pot, 

And there I oid bm drum. 

According to popular tradition, Tom Thumb died at 
Lincoln, and a little blue flagstone in the pavement of 
the cathedral used to be pointed out as his monument. 

"It was my good fortune," says Dr. Wagstafie, 
" some time ago, to have the library of a schoolboy 
committed to my charge, where, among other undisco- 
vered valuable authors, I pitched upon Tom Thumb and 
Tom Hickathrift, authors indeed more proper to adorn 
the shelves of Bodley or the Vatican, than to be con- 
fined to the retirement and obscurity of a private study. 
I have perused the first of these with an infinite plea- 
sure, and a more than ordinary application, and have 
made some observations on it, which may not, I hope, 
prove unacceptable to the public, and however it may 
have been ridiculed and looked upon as an entertain- 
ment only for children and those of younger years, may be 
found perhaps a performance not unworthy the perusal 
of the judicious, and the model superior to either of 



FIRESIDE STOBIES. 95 

those incomparable poems of Chevy Chase or the Chil- 
dren in the Wood. The design was undoubtedly to 
recommend virtue, and to show that however any one 
may labour under the disadvantages of stature and 
deformity, or the meanness of parentage, yet if his mind 
and actions are above the ordinary level, those very 
disadvantages that seem to depress him add a lustre to 
his character." — A Comment upon the History of Tom 
Thumb, 1711, p. 4.] 

In the merry days of good King Arthur, there lived 
in one of the counties of England a ploughman and 
his wife. They were poor, but as the husband was a 
strong workman, and his partner an able assistant in all 
matters pertaining to the farmhouse, the dairy, and 
poultry, they managed to make a very good living, and 
would have been contented and happy, had Nature 
blessed them with any offspring. But although they 
had been married several years, no olive branch had yet 
appeared, and the worthy couple sadly lamented their 
bard lot. 

There lived at this period, at the court of Arthur, a ce- 
lebrated conjuror and magician, whose name was Merlin, 
the astonishment of the whole world, for he knew the 
past, present, and future, and nothing appeared impos- 
sible to him. Persons of all classes solicited his assist- 
ance and advice, and he was perfectly accessible to the 
humblest appUcant. Aware of this, the ploughman, 
after a long consultation with his *' better half," deter- 
mined to consult him, and, for this purpose, travelled 
to the court, and, with tears in his eyes, beseeched 
Merlin that he might have a child, ''eten though it 
should be no bigger than his thumb." 

Now Merhn had a strange knack of taking people 
exactly at their words, and without waiting for any more 
explicit declaration of the ploughman's wishes, at once 



96 FIBESIBS STOBIES. 

granted his request. What was the poor coantryman's 
astonishment to find, when he reached home, that his 
wife had g^yen hirth to a gentleman so diminutiTe, that 
it required a strong exercise of the vision to see him. 
His growth was equally wonderfiil, for — 

In four minntes he grew so fast, 

That he became as tall 
As was the ploughman's thmnb in length. 

And so she did him call. 

The christening of this little fellow was a matter of 
much ceremony, for the fairy queen, attended by all her 
company of elves, was present at the rite, and he for- 
mally received the name of Tom Thumb. Her majesty 
and attendants attired him with their choicest weeds, 
and his costume is worth a brief notice. His hat was 
made of a beautiful oak leaf ; his shirt was composed 
of a fine spider's web, and his hose and doublet of 
thistle-down. His stockings were made with the rind 
of a delicate green apple, and the garters were two of 
the finest little hairs one can imagine, plucked from his 
mother's eyebrows. Shoes made of the skin of a little 
mouse, ''and tanned most curiously," completed his 
fairy-like accoutrement. 

It may easily be imagined that Tom was an object of 
astonishment and ridicule amongst the other children 
of the village, but they soon discovered that, notwith- 
standing his diminutive size, he was more than a match 
for them. It was a matter of very little consequence 
to Tom whether he lost or won, for if he found his stock 
of counters or cherrystones run low, he soon crept into 
the pockets of his companions, and replenished his 
store. It happened, on one occasion, that he was de- 
tected, and the aggrieved party punished Tom by shut- 
ting him up in a pin-box. The fairy boy was sadly 
annoyed at his imprisonment, but the next day he amply 
revenged himself; for hanging a row of glasses on a 



FIRESIDE STOBIES. 97 

Bunbeam^ his companions thought they would follow 
his example, and, not possessing Tom's fairy gifts, broke 
the glasses, and were severely whipped, whilst the little 
imp was overjoyed at their misfortune, standing by, and 
laughing till the tears run down his face. 

The boys were so irritated with the trick that had 
been played upon them, that Tom's mother was afraid 
to trust him any longer in their company. She accord- 
ingly kept him at home, and made him assist her in any 
light work suitable for so small a child. One day, 
while she was making a hatter-pudding, Tom stood on 
the edge of the bowl, with a lighted candle in his hand, 
80 that she might see it was properly made. Unfortu- 
nately, however, when her back was turned, Tom acci- 
dentally fell in the bowl, and his mother not missing 
him, stirred him up in the pudding 'instead of minced 
fat," and put the pudding in the kettle with Tom in it. 
The poor woman paid dearly for her mistake, for Tom 
had no sooner felt the warm water, than he danced 
about like mad, and the pudding jumped about till she 
was nearly frightened out of her wits, and was glad to 
give it to a tinker who happened to be passing that way. 
He was thankful for a present so acceptable, and anti- 
cipated the pleasure of eating a better dinner than he 
had enjoyed for many a long day. But -his joy was of 
short duration, for as he was getting over a stile, he 
happened to sneeze very hard, and Tom, who had 
hitherto remained silent, cried out, "Hollo, Pickens!" 
which so terrified the tinker, that he threw the pudding 
into the field, and scampered away as fast as ever he 
could go. The pudding tumbled to pieces with the fall, 
and Tom, creeping out, went home to his mother, who 
had been in great afiUction on account of his absence. 

A few days after this adventure, Tom accompanied 
his mother when she went into the fields to milk the 
cows, and for fear he should be blown away by the 

9 



98 FIRESIDE STORIES. 

wind, she tied him to a thistle with a small piece of 
thread. While in this position, a cow came by, and 
swallowed him up : 

Bat, being missed, his mother went. 

Calling him everywhere : 
Where art thou, Tom ? where art thou, Tom ? 

Quoth he, Here, mother, here ! 

Within the red cow*s stomach, here 

Your son is swallowed up ; 
All which within her fearful heart 

Much woful dolour put. 

The cow, however, was soon tired of her subject, for 
Tom kicked and scratched till the poor animal was 
nearly mad, and at length tumbled him out of her 
mouth, when he was caught by his mother, and carried 
safely home. 

A succession of untoward accidents followed. One 
day, Tom's father took him to the fields a-plougbing, 
and gave him ''a whip made of a barley straw" to 
drive the oxen with, but the dwarf was soon lost in a 
furrow. While he was there, a great raven came and 
carried him an immense distance to the top of a giant's 
castle. The giant soon swallowed him up, but he made 
such a disturbance when he got inside, that the monster 
was soon glad to get rid of him, and threw the mis- 
chievous little imp full three miles into the sea. But 
he was not drowned, for he had scarcely reached the 
water before he was swallowed by a huge fish, which 
was shortly after captured, and sent to King Arthur by 
the fisherman for a new-year's gift. Tom was now dis- 
covered, and at once adopted by the king as his dwarf; 

Long time he liv'd in jollity, 

Belov'd of the court. 
And none like Tom was so esteem'd 

Amongst the better sort. 

The queen was delighted with the little dwarf^ and 



FIBSSID£ STOBIES. 99 

made him dance a galHard on her left hand. His 
performance was so satisfactory, that King Arthur gave 
him a ring which he wore aboat his middle like a 
girdle ; and he literally " crept up the royal sleeve," 
requesting leave to visit his parents, and take them as 
much money as he could carry : 

And so away goes lusty Tom 

With threepence at his back, 
A heavy burthen, which did make 

His very bones to crack. 

Tom remained three days with the old couple, and 
feasted upon a hazel-nut so extravagantly that he grew 
ill. His indisposition was not of long continuance, and 
Arthur was so anxious for the return of his dwarf, that 
his mother took a birding-trunk, and blew him to the 
court. He was received by the king with every demon- 
stration of affection and delight, and tournaments were 
immediately proclaimed : 

Thus he at tilt and tournament 

Was entertained so, 
That all the rest of Arthur's knights 

Did him much pleasure show. 

And good Sir Launcelot du Lake, 

Sir Tristram and Sir Guy, 
Yet none compared to brave Tom Thumb 

In acts of chivalry. 

Tom, however, paid dearly for his victories, for the ex- 
ertions he made upon this celebrated occasion threw him 
into an illness which ultimately occasioned his death. 
But the hero was carried away by his godmother, the 
fairy queen, into the land of Faerie, and after the lapse 
of two centuries, he was suffered to return to earth, 
and again amuse men by his comical adventures. On 
one occasion, after his return from fairy-land, he jumped 
down a miller's throat, and played all manner of pranks 



100 FIBESIDE STORIES. 

on the poor fellow, telling him of all his misdeeds, for 
millers in former days were the greatest rogues, as every- 
hody knows, that ever lived. A short time afterwards, 
Tom a second time is swallowed by a fish, which is 
caught, and set for sale at the town of Rye, where a 
steward haggles for it, — 

Amongst the rest the steward came. 

Who would the ssJmon buv. 
And other fish that he did name. 

But he would not comply. 

The steward said, You are so stout. 

If so, I'll not buy any. 
So then bespoke Tom Thumb aloud, 

" Sir, give the other penny !" 

At this they began to stare. 

To hear this sudden joke : 
Nay, some were frighted to the heart, 

Aiid thought the dead fish spoke. 

So the steward made no more ado. 

But bid a penny more ; 
Because, he said, I never heard 

A fish to speak before. 

The remainder of the history, which details Tom's 
adventures with the queen, his coach drawn by sis beau- 
tiful white mice, his escaping on the back of a butter- 
fly, and his death in a spider's web, is undoubtedly a 
later addition to the original, and may therefore be 
omitted in this analysis. It is, in fact, a very poor imi- 
tation of the fixst part of the tale. 



mmmm 



101 



XXL— GAME-RHYMES. 

The most obvious method of arranging the rhymes 
employed in the amusements of children is to commence 
vith the simple lines used by the nurse in the infantine 
toe, finger, and face-games, then proceeding to bo-peep, 
and concluding with the more complicated games, many 
of the latter possessing a dramatic character. 

TOE-GAMES. 

Harry Whistle, Tommy Thistle, 
Harry Whible, Tommy Thible, 
And little Oker-beU. 

A game with the five toes, each toe being touched in 
succession as these names are cried. "This song 
affords a proof of the connexion between the English 
and Scandinavian rhymes. The last line, as it now 
stands, appears to mean nothing. The word oker, 
however, is the A.-S. secer, Xcel. akr, Dan. ager, and 

iSwed. aker, pronounced oker, a field, and the flower is 
the field-bell."— Mr. Stephens's MS. The foUowmg 
lines are also used in a play with the toes : 

Shoe the colt, shoe ! 

Shoe the wild mare ! 
Put a sack on her back. 

See if she'll bear. 
If she'll bear, 

We'll give her some grains ; 
If she won't bear. 

We'll dash out her brains. 

There are many various versions of this song in English, 
and it also exists in Danish (Thiele, iii. 133). 

Skoe minhest! 
Hvem kan bedst P 
Det kan vor PrsBst ! 

9§ 



102 GAME-BHTMES. 

Nei maen kan han ej ! 
For det kan vor smed, 
Som boer ved Leed. 

Shoe my horse ! 
Who can best ? 
Why, our priest ! 
Not he, indeed ! 
But our smith can, 
He lives at Leed. 

Perhaps, however, this will be considered more like 
the common rhyme, ** Robert Barnes, Fellow fine," 
printed in the ^ Nursery Rhymes of England/ p. 166. 
An analogous verse is found in the nursery anthology 
of Berlin (Kuhn, Kinderlieder, 229), and in that of 
Sweden (LUja, p. 14), — 

Sko, sko min lille hast, 

I morgon frosten blir' var gast. 

Da bli' hastskoma dyra, 
Tva styfver for fyra. 

Shoe, shoe my little horse. 
To-morrow it will be frostv ; 
Then will horse-shoes be dear. 
Two will cost a stiver. 

English nurses use the following lines, when a child's 
shoe is tight, and they pat the fbot to induce him to 
allow it to be tried on : 

Cobbler, cobbler, mend my shoe. 
Give it a stitch and that will do. 
Here's a nail, and there's a prod. 
And now my shoe is well shod. 

Or, occasionally, these lines,— 

This pig went to market. 

Squeak, mouse, mouse, mousey; 

Shoe, shoe, shoe the wild colt. 
And here's my own doll dowsy. 



GAME-BHYMES. 103 

The following lines are said by the nurse when moving 
the child's foot up and down, — 

The dog of the kill,* 
He went to the mill 

To lick mill-dust : 
The miller he came 
With a stick on his back, — 

Home, do^, home ! 
The foot behmd. 

The foot before : 
When he came to a style. 

Thus he jumped o'er. 

THE FIVE FINGERS. 

I do not recollect to have seen anywhere noticed the 
somewhat singular fact, that our ancestors had distinct 
names for each of the five fingers — the thumb being 
generally called a finger in old works. Yet such was 
the case ; and it may not displease the reader to have 
these cognominations duly set forth in order, viz. 
thumb, toucher, landman, leche-man, little-man. This 
information is derived from a very curious MS. quoted 
in my Dictionary of Archaisms, p. 357 ; and the reasons 
for the names are thus set forth : — ^The first finger was 
called toucher because "therewith men touch i-vris ;" the 
second finger hngman, "for longest finger it is," (this, 
I beg to say, is intended for rhyme). The third finger 
vas called leche-man, because a leche or doctor tasted 
everything by means of it. This is very curious; 
though we find elsewhere another reason for this appel- 
lation, on account of the pulsation in it, which was at 
one time supposed to communicate directly with the 
heart. The other finger was, of course, called littleman 
because it was the least of all. It is rather curious 
that some of these names should have survived the 

* A nortli-country term for kiln. 



104 GAME-RHYMES. 

wrecks of time^ and be still preserved in a narsery- 
rhyme ; yet such is the fact ; for one thus commences, 
the fingers being kept in corresponding moTcments : 

Dance, thnmbkin, dance, 
Dance, thumbkin, dance; 
Dance, ye merry men all aronnd : 
Bat thumbkm ne can dance alone ; ] 
But thumbkin he can dance alone. 

Dance, foreman, dance, 
Dance foreman, dance ; 
Dance, ye merry men all around : 
But thumbkin he can dance alone ; 
But thumbkin he can dance alone. 

And so on, substituting in succession middleane, long- 
man, or middleman, Hngman, and littleman, and each 
verse terminating with " thumbkin he can dance alone." 
In some instances the original name for the third finger, 
lecheman, is preserved in the rhyme, but ringman is most 
generally adopted. 

It is worthy of remark too, that there is, even at the 
present day, amongst many of the old women of the 
Peak of Derbyshire, a strong belief in the superiority of 
lecheman over foreman in all matters of taste. They 
say that the forefinger is venomime, and that the supe- 
riority of the third is to be ascribed to its being pos- 
sessed of a nerve; and as they appear to pay a most 
superstitious reverence to a nerve, whether in the finger, 
the tooth, or the ear, they do not fail to impress upon 
their daughters the importance of tasting anything of 
consequence with the third finger. 

The names given to the fingers vary considerably in 
the different counties. In Essex they call them 

Tom Thumbkin, 
Bess Bumpkin, 
Bill Wilkin, 
Long Linkin, 
And little Dick ! 



GAME-RHYMES. 105 

And in some parts of Yorkshire^ 

Tom Thumbkins, 
Bm Wilkins. 
Long Daniel, 
Bessy Bobtail, 
And little Dick. 

Similar appellations for the fingers are common in 
Denmark. Thus, Thiele, iii. 136,— 

Tommeltot, 

Slikkepot, 

Lan^mand, 

Gnlabrand, 

Lille Peer SpiUeman. 

"Little Peer Spilleman" is "little Peter the fiddler," 
not a bad name for the little finger. A slight variation 
of this is current in Sweden, — 

Tomme tott, 

Slicke pott ; 

LSngeman, 

HjertUghand; 

Lille, mle, lille, gallyiye ! 

The following song for the four fingers is obtained 
from Lancashire: 

This broke the bam. 
This stole the corn, 
This got none : 
This went pinky-winky 
AH the way home ! 

FACE-SONGS. 

Bo Peeper, 
Nose dreeper. 
Chin chopper. 
White lopper. 
Red rag, 
And little gap. 



106 GAME-BHYME8. 

These lines are said to a very young child, toaching suc- 
cessively for each line the eye, nose, chin, tooth, tongue, 
and mouth. Sometimes the following version is used: 

Brow brinky. 
Eye winky, 
Cnin choppy. 
Nose noppy, 
Cheek cherry. 
Mouth merry. 

The most pleasing amusement of this kind is the 
game of '' face-tapping," the nurse tapping each feature 
as she sings these lines, — 

Here sits the lord mayor {forehead). 

Here sit his two men {eifes) ; 
Here sits the cock {rigM cheek). 

Here sits the hen {left cheek). 
Here sit the Uttle chickens {tip of nose). 

Here they run in {mouth) ; 
Chinchopper, chinchopper, 

Ghincnopper, chin ! {chucking the chin,) 

Similar songs are common in the North of Europe. 
A Danish one is given by Thiele, iii. 130 : 

Pandebeen, 

Oisteen, 

Naesebeen, 

Mundelip, 

Ha^etip, 

Dikke, dikke, dik. 

Brow-bone, ^ ' 

Eye-stone, ' I 

Nose-bone, | 

Mouth-lip, 

Chin-tip, 

Dikke, dikke, dik ! 

The nurse, while repeating the last line, tickles the child 
under the chin. A German version, now common at 



GAME-BHYMES. 107 

Berlin, is printed by M. Euhn, in his article on Kinder- 
lieder, p. 237 : 

Kinnewippchen, 

RoihUppclien, 

Naseudrippchen, 

Augenthniiiechen, 

Ziep ziep Maranechen. 

The following lines are repeated by the nurse when 
sliding her band down the child's face : 

My mother and your mother 
We 



'^ent over the way ; 
my mother to you 
It's chop-a-nose day 



Said my mother to your mother, 



KNEE-SONGS. 

This is the way the ladies ride ; 

Tri, tre, tre, tree, 

Tri, tre, tre, tree ! 
This is the way the ladies ride, 

Tri, tre, tre, tri-tre-tre-tree ! 

This is the way the gentlemen ride ; 

Gallop-a-trot, 

Gallop-a-trot! 
This is the way the gentlemen ride, 

6allop-a gallop-a-trot ! 

This is the way the farmers ride, 

Hobbledy-hoy, 

Hobbledy-hoy! 
This is the way tlie farmers ride, 

Hobbledy hobbledy-hoy ! 

I^his is a famous song for a young child, the nurse 
dancing it on her knee, and gradually increasing the 
ascent of the foot. Similar songs, but differing consi- 
derably from the above, are given in the Swedish nursery 
ballads of Arwidsson, iii. 48y-91 ; the Danish of Thiele, 
iii. 130-2, iv. 176-7; and the German Wunderborn, 



108 GAME-BHTMES. 

iii. 60-1. The following pretty Swedish YeTsion is given 
from Mr. Stephens's MS. collections : 

Hvem ar det som rider ? 
Det ar en froken som rider : 
Det gar i sakta traf, 
I sakta traf ! 

Hvem ar det som rider ? 
Det ar en Herre som rider : 
Det gar jo i galopp. 



jo i ffalopp 
I gaiopp ! 



Hvem ar det som rider ? 
Det ar en Bonde som rider : 
Det gSr sa lunka pa, 
Lunka pa! 

And pray, who now is riding ? 
A lady it is that's riding : 
And she goes with a sentle trot, 
A gentle trot f 

And pray, who now is riding ? 
A gentleman it is that's riding : 
And he goes with a gaUop-away, 
A gallop-away ! 

And pray, who now is riding P 
A fartner it is thafs riding : 
And he goes with a jog along, 
A jog along! 

There are a great number of English variations of the 
above song, differing very materially from one another. 
A second version may be worth giving : 

Here goes my lord, 
A trot I a trot ! a trot ! a trot ! 

Here goes my lady, 
A canter ! a canter ! a canter ! a canter ! 

Here goes my young master, 
Jockey-hitcK ! jockey-hitch! jockey-hitch! jockey-liitch'. 



GAME-RHYMES. 109 

Here goes my young miss, 
An amble ! an amble ! an amble ! an amble ! 

The footman lags behind to tipple ale and wine, 

And goes gallop, a gallop, a gallop, to make np his time. 

Here are other knee-songs : 

Little Shon a Moi^n, 

Shentleman of Wales, 
Game riding on a nanny-goat. 

Selling of pigs' tails. 

Ghicky, cuckoo, my little duck. 

See-saw, sickna downy ; 
Gallop a trot, trot, trot. 

And hey for Dublin towny ! 

BO-PEEP. 

The children's game of bo-peep is as old as the hills, 
hiding froni each other, and saying, — 

Bo-Peep, Little Bo-Peep : 
Now's the time for hide and seeL 

But in ancient times the amusement appears to have 
been eyen of a simpler character, and adopted by nurses 
before children are capable of seeking recreation for 
tbemselyes. Sherwood describes bo-peep as a child's 
game, in which the nurse conceals the head of the infant 
for an instant, and then remoyes the coyering quickly. 
I^e Italians say ^ar ban bau, or baco, baco, which Douce 
thinks is sufficient to show a connexion between the 
worse's boggle or buggy-bo, and the present expression. 
Shakespeare has condescended to notice the game, 
pnless, indeed, we suppose the term to haye passed 
^to a proyerb. The reader will recollect what Butler 
8ayB of Sir Edward Kelly, the celebrated conjuror, — 

Kelly did all his feats upon 
The devil's looking-glass, a stone : 
Where, playing with Aim at bo-peep, 
' '• He solv*d all problems ne'er so deep. 

10 



110 GAME-SHYMES. 

The term bo-peep appears to haye been connected 
at a very early period irith sheep. Thus in an old 
ballad of the time of Queen Elizabeth, in a MS. in the 
library of Corpus Christi Collegej Cambridge, — 

Haifa Englande ys nowffht now but shepe, 
In everye comer they playe boe-pepe ; 
Lorde, them confownde by twentye and ten. 
And fyll their places with Cristen men. 

And every one is acquainted with the nnrsery rhyme 
which details the adventures of * Idtde Bo-peep,* — 

Little Bo-peep has lost her sheep. 
And can't tell where to find them : 

Leave them alone, and they'll come home. 
And bring their tails benind them. 

Little Bo-peep fell fast asleep. 
And dreamt she heard them bleating : 

But when she awoke, she found it a j^e. 
For they were still all fleeting. 

Minsheu gives us a fanny derivation of the word, 
which he says is no other than the noise which chickens 
make when they come out of the shell ! I regret I 
have nothing better, certainly nothing so ingenious, 
to ofifer to my philological readers. Letting that pass, 
I take the opportunity of giving an anecdote respecting 
Ben Jonson and Bandolph, which affords another illus- 
tration of the analogy above mentioned. It is taken 
from a manuscript of the seventeenth century, in the 
possession of Mr. Stephens of Stockholm, who con- 
siders the volume to have been transcribed before the 
year 1650. 

*' Randolph havinge not soe much as ferry money, 
sought out Ben Johnson, and comminge to a place in 
London where he and three more were drinkinge, peeps 
in att the chamber doore. Ben Johnson espyinge him, 
said, 'Come in. Jack Bo-peepe.' Randolph, beinge 
very thirsty, it bediug then summer, and willinge to 



OAME-BUTMES. Ill 

quench his thirst, willingly obeyed his 'commBnd» The 
company dranke nntill it came to five shillings : every 
man drtwinge his money, Randolph made this motion, 
viz. that he that made the first coppy of verses npon 
the reckoninge should ^oe scot-free. Ben and all the 
rest, beeinge poetts, readdy consented. Randolph, sur- 
passinge them in acutenesse, utter*d forthwith these 
foUowinge, — 

I, Jack Bo-peep, 

And you foure sheep, 
Lett every one j^eeld his fleece : 

Here's five shillinge. 

If you are willinge. 
That will be fiffceene pence a-peece. 

Et sic impune evasit inops" 

We conclude in the words of Shakespeare,— 

They then for sudden joy did weep, 

ijid I for sorrow suiij^, 
That such a king should play bo-peep. 

And go the fools among. 

MISCELLANEOUS PUERILE AMUSEMENTS. 

I went to the sea. 
And saw twentee 

Geese all in a row : 
My glove I would give 
Full of gold, if my wife 

Was as white as those. 

These lines are to be repeated rapidly and correctly, 
inserting the word cother after every word, under pain 
of a forfeit. 

It's time, I believe, 

For us to ffet leave : 

The little aog says 

It isn't, it is; it 'tisnt, it is, &o. 

Said by a schoolboy, who places his book between his 
knees. His two forefingers are then placed together. 



112 GAME-RHYMES. 

and the breadth of each is measured alternately along 
the length of the book. The time to get leave (to be 
dismissed) is supposed to have arrived or not according 
as one finger or the other fills up the last space. 

A duck and a drake. 
And a white penny cake. 
It's time to go home. 
It isn't, it is, &c. 

So going on with the fingers one over the other along 
the edge of a book or desk, till the last finger deter- 
mines the question. 

Put your finger in fox/s hole, 

Foxj is not at home : 
Foxy IS at the back door. 

Picking of'a bone. 

Holding the fist in such a way that if a child puts its 
finger in, you can secure it, still leaving the hole at top 
open. 

Jack's alive and in very good health. 

If he dies in your hana you must look to yourself. 

Played with a stick, one end burnt red-hot: it is passed 
round a circle from one to the other, the one who 
passes it saying this, and the one whose hand it goes 
out in paying a forfeit. 

SEE-SAW. 

A common game, children vacillating on either end 
of a plank supported on its centre. While enjoying 
this recreation, they have a song of appropriate cadence, 
the burden of which is, — 

Titty cum tawtay, 

The ducks in the water : 
Titty cum tawtay, 

, The geese follow after. 



GAM£-BUYM£S. 1 13 



HITTY-TITTY. 

Hitty-titty m-doors> 

Hitty-titty out; 
You touch Hitty-titty, 

And Hitty-titty will bite you. 

These lines are said by children when one of them has 
hid herself. They then ran away, and the one who is 
bitten (caught) becomes Hitty-titty, and hides in her 
turn. A variation of the above lines occurs in MS, 
Harl. 1 962, as a riddle, the solution of which is a nettle. 

B£ANS AND BUTTER. 

So the game of hide-and-seek is called in some parts 
of Oxfordshire. Children hide from each other, and 
when it is time to commence the search, the cry is. 

Hot boil'd beans and very good butter. 
If you please to come to supper ! 

DROP-CAP. 

In the game where the following lines are used, one 
person goes round inside a ring of children, clapping 
a cap between his hands. When he drops it at the 
foot of any one, that one leaves his position and gives 
chase, and is obliged to thread the very same course 
among the children till the first is caught. The first 
then stands with his back towards the centre of the 
ring, the one called out takes his place, and thus they 
continue till nearly all are '' turned." 

My hand bums hot, hot, hot, 

And whoever I love best, Til drop this at his foot I 

MY SOW HAS PIGGED. 

A game at cards, played now only by children. It 
is alluded to by Taylor the Water-poet, in his Motto, 

10§ 



114 GAME-BHTMES. 

12 mo. Lond. 1622, and it is also mentioned in Poor 
Robin's Almanac for 1734. The following distich is 
used in this game : 

Higgory, diggory, digg'd, 
My sow has pigg d. 

NIDDY-NODDY. 

A simple bnt very amusing game at cards, at which 
any number can play. The cards are dealt round, and 
one person commences the game by placing down a 
card, and the persons next in succession who hold the 
same card in the various suits place them down upon 
it, the holder of the last winning the trick. The four 
persons who hold the cards say, when they put them 
down, — 

1. There's a good card for thee. 

2. There's a still better than he ! 

3. There's the best of all three. 

4. And there is Niddy-noddee ! 

The person who is first out, receives a fish for each 
card unplayed.' 

SLATE GAMES. 

Entertaining puzzles or exercises upon the slate are 
generally great favorites with children. A great 
variety of them are current in the nursery, or rather 
were so some years ago. The story of the four rich 
men, the four poor men, and the pond, w|m one of 
these ; the difficulty merely requiring a zig-zag inclo- 
sure.to enable it to be satisfactorily solved. 

Once upon a time there was a pond lying upen com- 
mon land, which was extremely commodious for fishing, 
bathing, and various other purposes. Not far from it 
lived four poor men, to whom it was of great service ; 
and farther ofi*, their lived four rich men. The latter 



OAME-BHYMES. 115 

envied the poor men the use of the pond, akid, as inclo- 
Bure bills had not then come into fashion, they wished 
to invent an inclosure-wall which should shut oat the 
poor men from the pond, although they lived so near it, 
and still give free access to the rich men, who resided 
at a greater distance. How was this done ? 

GAME OF THE CAT. 

This is another slate game, in which, by means of a 
tale and appropriate indications on the slate, a rude 
figure of a cat is delineated. It requires, however, 
some little ingenuity to accomplish it. 

Tommy would once go to see his cousin Charles. 
[Here one draws T for Tommy, and C for Charles, 
forming the forehead, nose, and mouth of the cat.] 
But before he went, he would make walls to his house. 
[Here he draws lines from the arms of the T to its foot, 
forming the cheeks of the cat.] But then it smoked, 
and he would put chimneys to it. [Here he inserts 
two narrow triangles on each arm of the T, forming the 
ears of the cat.] But then it was so dark, he would 
put windows into it. [Here he draws a small circle 
under each arm of the T, forming the eyes.] Then to 
make it pretty, he would spread grass at the door. 
[Here he scratches lines at the foot of the T, represent- 
ing the cat's whiskers.] Then away he went on his 
journey, but after a little while, down he fell. {Here 
he draws down a line a little way from the foot of the 
T.] But he soon cUmbed up again. [Here he draws a 
zig-zag horizontally from the foot of the last line, and 
draws one up, forming with the last movement the first 
foot of the cat.] Then he walks along again, but soon 
falls down once more. [Here he draws a short horizon- 
tal line, and one downwards.] He soon, however, got 
up again, as before, &c. [The second leg is then 
formed, and by similar movements the four legs of the 



116 GJLHE-BHYMES. 

cat appear.] After thiis falling down foHT times, 
Tommy determined to proceed more firmly, and dimb- 
ing up, he walks along [the back of the cat] another 
way round till he comes to C. His journey is now 
accomplished, and an animal, called by courtesy a cat, 
appears on the slate, " the admiration of all beholders." 

HANDY'DANDY. 

This game is now played as follows : — a child hides 
something in one hand, and then places both fists end- 
ways on each other, crying, — 

Handy-dandy riddledy ro. 

Which will you have, high or low ? 

Or, sometimes, the following distich, — 

Handy-dandy, Jack-a-dandy, 
Which good hand will you haye ? 

The party addressed either touches one hand, or 
guesses in which one the article (whatever it may be) is 
placed. If he guesses rightly, he wins its contents ; if 
wrongly, he loses an equivalent. 

Some versions read handy-pandy in the first of these, 
with another variation, that would not now be tole- 
rated. This is one of the oldest English games in 
existence, and appears to be alluded to in Piers Plough- 
man, ed. Wright, p. 69 : 

Thanne wowede Wrong 
Wisdom ful yeme, 
L To maken pees with his pens. 

Handy-dandy played. 

Plorio, in his World of Worlds, ed. 1611, p. 57, trans- 
lates bojgzicidre, " to shake between two hands, to pl«y 
handie*dandie." Miege, in his Great French Dictionary, 
1688, says, "Handy-dandy, a kind of play with the 



GAME-BHTHES. 117 

hands, 8orte dejeu de main ;** and Douce, ii. IGZ, quotes 
an early MS., which thus curiously mentions the game: 
" They bould safe your children's patrymony, and play 
with your majestie, as men play with little children at 
handye-dandyey which hand will you have, when they are 
disposed to keep anythinge from them." Some of the 
commentators on Sbidcespeare have mistaken the character 
of the game, from having adoped Coles's erroneous in- 
terpretation of micare digiHa. Sometimes the game is 
played by a sort of sleight of hand, changing the article 
rapidly from one hand into the other, so that the looker- 
on is often deceived, and induced to name the hand into 
which it is apparently thrown. This is what Shakespeare 
alludes to hy changing places. 

Pope, in his Memoirs of Martinus Scrihlerus, says 
ihat tbe game of handy-dandy is mentioned hy Plato ; 
but if , as I suppose, he refers to a well-known passage 
in the Lysis, the allusion appears somewhat too indistinct 
to warrant such an assertion, — aarpa yoKiZovras re hfi 
cat K€Koafui/i€POVt hirayrcu. oi fjiey ovy voWot ev ri| avXy 
trai^ov e{w. ol be rives rov airobvrripiov ev ywKc^ i^pri a^ov 
QffTpayaXou ira/iiroXXoir, eic fop/naKmv Tiviav irpoaipov- 
/icjrof. A passage, however, in Julius Pollux, iz. 101, 
referring to this, is rather more distinct, and may allude 
to one form of the game. — Kac fxiiv cat apria^eiv, a^rpa- 
yaXovs ei: ^opfiiaKuiy Kadaipofieyovs ty Tf anoiwrfpif rovs 
vaihas, o IlAarwv e^iy. to be apriaZeiy ev aorpayaXiay 
vXiflti K€Kpvfifi€y»y hito raiy xepoiy, /lavrecav ec^* twv 
apTimy 9 Kai frepimav, ravro 5e rovro icat jcva/uocs, 17 
Kapvois re jcac afivybaXais, 01 be cat apyvpi^ wparrety 
Q&ovv, a passage which Meursius, de Ludis Grsecorum, 
ed. 1625, p. 5, thus partially translates, ** nempe 
Indentes sumptis in manu talis, fabis, nucibus, amyg- 
dalis, interdum etiam nummis, interrogantes alteram 
divinare jubebant." Here we have the exact game of 
handy-luuidy, which is, after all, the simple form of 
the odd and even of children. 



118 OAHE-BHTMES. 

Browne has a cnrious allusion to this game in Biitan- 
nia's Pastorals^ i. 5^ — 

Who so hath sene jobs lads, to sport themselves. 
Run in a low ebbe to tne sandy snelves, 
Where seriously they worke in digging wds. 
Or building childish sorts of cockle-sh3s ; 
Or liquid water each to other bandy, 
Or with the pibbles play at handy-dandy. 



BARLEY-BRIDGE. 

A string of boys and girls, each holding by his pre- 
decessor's skirts, approaches two others, who, with 
jcHned and elevated hands, form a double arch. After 
the dialogue is concluded* the line passes through the 
arch, and the last is caught, if possible, by the sudden 
lowering of the arms. 

**How many miles to Barley-bridge?" 

"Three score and ten." 
"Can I 5Bt there by candle-light?" 
" Yes, if your legs be long." 
" A courtesy to you, and a courtesy to you. 
If you ^ease will you let the king's horses through?" 
Through and through shan they go. 

For the king's s&e ; 
But the one that is hindmost 
Will meet with a great mistake. 



THE TOWN LOVERS. 



A game played by boys and> girls. A girl is placed in 
the middle of a ring, and says the following lines, the 
names being altered to suit the party. She points to 
each one named, and at the last line, the party selected 
immediately runs away, and if the girl catches him, he 
pays a foifeit, or the game is commenced again, the 



6AH£-BHYM£8. 119 

boy being placed in the middle> and the lines, mutatis 
Mutandisy serve for a reversed amusement : 

There is a girl of our town. 
She often wears a flowered gown : 
Tomm^r lores her ni^ht and day. 
And Richard when he may. 
And Johnny when he can : 
I think Sam will be the man ! 



MARY BROWN. FAIR 6UNDELA. 

A slightly dramatic character may be ohserved in this 
game, which was obtained from Essex. Children form 
a ring, one girl kneeling in the centre, and sorrowfully 
Mding her iSftce with her hands. One in the ring then 

Bays,— 

Here we all stand ronnd the nng. 

And now we shut poor Mary in ; 

Bise np, rise up, poor Mary Brown, 

And see yomr poor mother go through the town. 

To this she answers, — 

I will not stand up upon my feet. 

To see my poor mother go through the street. 

The children then cry, — 

Bise up, rise up, poor Mary Brown, 

And see your poor father go through the town. 

Mary, 

I will not stand up upon mv feet. 

To see my poor father go tnrough the street. 

Children, 

Bise up, rise up, poor Mary Brown, 

To see your poor orother go through the town. 

Mary, 

I will not stand up upon my feet. 

To see my poor brother go through the street. 



120 GAKE-BHYMES. 

Children. 

Bise up, rise up, poor Mary Brown, 

To see your poor sister go through the town. 

Maty, 

I will not stand up upon my feet. 

To see my poor sister go through the street. 

Children, 

Bise up, rise up, poor Mary Brown, 

To see the poor beggars go through the town. 

Mary, 

I will not sf-and up upon my feet. 

To see the poor beggars go through the street. 

One would have thonght that this tiresome repetition 
had been continued quite long enough, but two other 
verses are sometimes added, introducing gentlemen and 
ladies with the same questions, to both of which it 
is unnecessary to say that the callous and hardhearted 
Mary Brown replies with perfect indifference and want 
of curiosity. All yersions, however, conclude with the 
girls saying, — 

Bise up, rise up, poor Mary Brown, 

And see your poor sweatbeart go through the town. 

The chord is at last touched, and Mary, £rantically 
replying,— 

I will get up upon my feet. 

To see my sweetheart go through the street, 

rushes with impetuosity to break the ring, and generally 
succeeds in escaping the bonds that detain her from 
her imaginary love. 

The Swedish ballad of the *' Maiaen that was sold 
into Slavery," has a similar dramatic character. (See 
an article by Mr. Stephens, on the Popular Ballads and 
Songs of Sweden, in the Foreign Quarterly Review for 
1840.) Another Swedish ballad, or ring-dance song, 
entitled, " Fair Gundela," is, however, mpre analogous 



jG^AME-BHYMES. 121 

to the above. A girl sits on a stool or chair within a 
ring of dancers; and, with something in her hands, 
imitates the action of rowing. She should have a veil 
on her head, and at the news of her sweetheart^s death, 
let it fall over her face, and sink down, overwhelmed 
with sorrow. The ring of girls dance round her, singing 
and pausing, and she sings in reply. The dialogue is 
conducted in the following manner : 

TheBing. 

"Why row ye so, why row ye so ? 

Fair Gundela ! 

Oundela, 

Snre I may row, ay sure may I row. 

While groweth the grass. 
All summer through. 

The Bing, 

But now I've speir'd that your father's dead, 

Fair Gundela ! 

Oundela. 

What matters my father ? My mother lives still. 

Ah, tliank heaven for that ! 

The lUng. 

But now I've speir'd that your mother's dead, 

Fair Gundela ! 

Gundela. 

What matters my mother ? My brother lives still. 

Ah, thank heaven for that ! 

The Sing, 
But now I've speir'd that your brother's dead. 

Fair Gundela ! 

Gundela, 
What matters my brother ? My sister lives stiLl. 

Ah, thank heaven for that ! 

The Ring, 
But now I've speir'd that your sister's dead, 

Fair Gundela ! 

11 



122 GAME-RHYMES. 



Oundela. 



What matters my sister ? My sweetheart lives stiL 

All, thank heaven for that ! 

The Bing. 

But now Fve speir'd that your Sweetheart's dead, 

Fair Gnndela ! 

[Here she sinks down overwhelmed ioith grief i] 

Gundela. 

Say! can it be true. 

Which ye tell now to me, 
That my sweetheart's no more ? 

Ah, God pity me ! 

The Ring, 

Bat now I've speir'd that yonr father lives still, 

Fair Gimdela! 

'' Oundela. 

What matters my father ? Mj sweetheart's no more ! 

Ah, God pity me ! 

The Bing. 

Bat now I've speir'd that ^ou mother lives still, 

Fair Gandela ! 

Oitndela. 

What matters my mother P My sweetheart's no more! 

Ah, God pity me ! 

The Bing, 

Bat now I've speir'd that joxa brother lives still. 

Fair Gundela ! 

Gundela, 
> Mv 
Ah, God pity me ! 

The Ring, 

But now I've speir'd that yonr sister lives still. 

Fair Gandela! 

Oundela. 

What matters my sister P My sweetheart's no more ! 

Ah, God pity me ! 



What matters my brother P My sweetheart's no more ! 



GAME-EHYMES. 123 

TheBing, 

Bat now I've speir'd that your sweetheart lives still, 

IFair Gundela ! 

Qundela, 
Say! can it be true 

Which ye tell now to me. 
That my sweetheart lives still ? 

Thank God, thank God for that ! 

The veil is thrown on one side^ her face beams with 
joy, the circle is broken, and the juvenile drama con- 
cludes with merriment and noise. It is difficult to say 
whether this is the real prototype of the English game, 
or whether they are both indebted to a still more primi- 
tive oric;inal. There is a poetical sweetness and absolute 
dramatic fervour in the Swedish ballad we vainly try to 
discover in the English version. In the latter, all is 
vulgar, common-place, and phlegmatic. Cannot we 
trace in both the national character ? Do we not see 
in the last that poetic simplicity which has made the 
works of Andersen so popular and, irresistibly charming? 
It may be that the style pleases by contrast, and that 
we appreciate its genuine chasteness the more> because 
we have nothing similar to it in our own vernacular 
literature. 

MY DAUGHTER JANE. 

Ecdeshall version, played as a game by the school- 
girls. See the Nursery Rhymes of England, p. 114. 

Suihn, Here come two dukes all out of Spain, 
A courting to your daughter Jane. 

Mother* Mj daughter Jane, she is so young. 

She can t abide your flattering tongue. 

Suitor, Let her be young or let her be old. 
It is the price, she must be sold 
Either for silver or for gold. 
So, fare you well, my lady gay, 
Tor I must turn another way. 



124 GAME-BHTMES. 

« 

Mother. Tom back» turn back, voa Spanish knight. 
And mb your spurs till they be bright. 

Suitor, My spurs they are of a costliest wrought. 
And in this town they were ndt bought ; 
Nor in this town they won't be sold. 
Neither for silver nor for gold. 
So, fare you well, my lady gay. 
For I must turn another way. 

Through the kitchen, and through the hall. 
And take the fairest of them all; 
The fairest is, as I can see. 
Pretty Jane, come here to me. 

Now I've got my pretty fair maid. 
Now I've got my pretty fair maid 
To d^mce sQong with me — 
To dance along with me ! 

There is a different version in Cambridgeshire, but 
the girl recollects it so imperfectly, and only two stanzas, 
that I cannot depend upon their being correct. 

Here come three lords dressed all in green, 
Por the sake of your daughter Jane. 
My daughter Jane she is so young, 
She learns to talk with a flattering tongue. 

Let her be youn^, or let her be old, 
Por her beauty she must be sold. 
My mead's not made, my eake's not baked. 
And you cannot have my daughter Jane. 

HEWLEY-PULEY. 

The children are seated and the following qnestions 
put by one of the party, holding a twisted handkerchief 
or something of the sort in the hand. The handker- 
chief was called hewley-puley, and the questions are 
asked by the child who holds it. If one answered 
wrongly, a box on the ear with the handkerchief was the 
consequence ; but if they all replied correctly, then the 
one who broke silence first had that punishment. 



..^ . -^ 



GAMB-BHYMES. 125 

Take this ! What's this ?— Hewley-puley. 

Where's my share ? — ^About the kite's neck. 

Where's the kite ? — ^Flown to the wood. 

Where's the wood ? — The fire has burned it. 

Where's the fire ? — ^The water has quenched it. 

Where's the water ? — ^The ox has drunk it. 

Where's the ox ? — The butcher has killed it. 

Where's the butcher ? — ^The rope has han^d him. 

Where's the rope ? — ^The rat has gnawed it. 

Where's the rat ? — The cat has kflled it. 

Where's the cat? — Behind the church door, cracking 
pebble-stones and marrow-bones for yours and my supper, and 
the one who speaks first shall have a box on the ear« 

THE DIAMOND RING. 

Children ait in a ring or in a line, with their hands 
placed together pahn to palm, and held straight, the 
uttle fingers downmost between the knees. One of 
them is then chosen to represent a serrant, who 
takes a ring, or some other small article as a sub- 
stitute, between her two palms, which are pressed flat 
together like those of the rest, and goes round the circle 
or line, placing her hands into the hands of every 
player, so that she is enabled to let the ring fall where- 
ever she pleases without detection. After this, she re- 
turns to the first child she touched, and with her hands 
behind her exclaims, — 

My lady's lost her diamond ring : 
I pitch upon you to fibad it ! 

The child who is thus addressed must guess who has 
the ring, and the servant performs the same ceremony 
with each of the party. They who guess right, escape ; 
bat the rest forfeit. Should any one in the ring ex- 
claim, " I have it," she also forfeits ; nor must the 
serrant make known who has the ring, until all have 
guessed, under the same penalty. The forfeits are after- 
wards cried as usual. 

11§ 



126 GAMS-RHTMES. 



THE POOR SOLDIER. 

Children form a half-circle, first choosing one of their 
number to represent the poor soldier. The chief rega- 
lation is that none of the players may use the words, 
yes^ no, black, white, or ffray. The poor soldier tra- 
verses the semicircle, thus addressing each player, — 

Here's a poor soldier come to town ! 
Have you aught to give him ? 

The answer must of course be evasive, else there is a 
fine. He continues, " Have you a pair of trousers [or 
old coat, shoes, cap, &c.] to give meT' The answer 
must again be evasive, or else another forfeit. The old 
soldier then asks : *' Well, what colour is it 7" The re- 
ply must avoid the forbidden colours, or another forfeit 
is the penalty. Great ingenuity may be exhibited in 
the manner in which the questions and answers are con- 
structed, and, in the hands of some children, this is a 
most amusing recreation. The forfeits are of course 
cried at the end of the game. 

THE BRAMBLE-BUSH. 

A ring-dance imitation-play, the metrical portion of 
which is not without a little melody. The bramble-bush 
IS often imaginative, but sometimes represented by a 
child in the centre of the ring. All join hands, and 
dance round in a circle, singing, — 

Here we go round the bramble-bush, 
—The bramble-bush, the bramble-bush: 
Here we go round the bramble-bush 
On a cold frosty moming ! 

After the chanting of this verse is ended, all the chil- 
dren commence an imitation of washing clothes, making 
appropriate movements with their hands, and saying, ^ 



saooa 



0AMS-&HTME8. 217 

This is the war we wash our clothes> 
— ^Wash our clothes, wash our clothes : 
This is the way we wash our clothes 
On a cold frosty morning 1 

They then dance round, repeating the first stanza, after 
which the operation of drying the clothes is commenced 
with a similar verse, ''This is the way we dry our 
clothes," &c. The game may he continued almost ad 
infinitum hy increasing the number of duties to be per- 
formed. They are, however, generally satisfied with 
mangling, smoothing or ironing, the clothes, and then 
putting them away. Sometimes they conclude with a 
general cleaning, which may well be necessary after the 
large quantity of work that has been done : 

This is the way we dean our rooms, 
-^lean our rooms, clean our rooms : 
This is the way we clean our rooms 
On a cold frosty morning ! 

And like good merry washing-women, they are not ex- 
hausted with their labours, but conclude with the song, 
"Here we go round the bramble-bush," having had 
sufficient exercise to warm themselves on any " cold 
frosty morning," which was doubtlessly the result, we 
may observe en passant, as a matter of domestic economy, 
aimed at by the author. It is not so easy to give a 
similar explanation to the game of the mulberry-bush, 
conducted in the same manner : 

Here we go round the mulberry-bush, 
— ^The mmberry-bush, the mulberry-bush : 
Here we go round the mulberry-bush 
On a sunshiny morning. 

In this game, the motion-cries are usually '' This is 
the way we wash our clothes," " This is the way we 
dry our clothes," '' This is the way we make our shoes," 
" This is the way we mend our shoes," " This is the 
way the gentlemen walk," " This is the way the ladies 
walk," &c. As in other cases, the dance may be con- 



128 GAME-BHTMES. 

tinued by the addition of cries and motions, which may 
be rendered pretty and characteristic in the hands of 
judicious actors. This game, however, requires too 
much exercise to render it so appropriate to the season 
as the other. 

THE GAME OF DTTMP. 

A boy's amusement in Yorkshire, in vogue abont 
half a century ago, but now, I believe, nearly obsolete. 
It is played in this manner. The lads crowd round, 
and place their fists endways the one on the other, till 
they form a high pile of hands. Then a boy who has 
one hand free, knocks the piled fists off one by one, 
saying to every boy, as he strikes his fist away, " What*s 
there. Dump 1" He continues this process till he comes 
to the last fist, when he exclaims : 

What's there P 
Cheese and bread, and a mouldy hal^enny ! 

Where's my share P 
I put it on the shelf, and the cat got it. 

Where's the cat P 
She's run nine miles through the wood. 

Where's the wood P 
T* fire burnt it. 

Where's the fire P . 
T' water sleckt (extinguished) it. 

Where's the water P 
T oxen drunk it. 

Where's the oxen P 
T* butcher kill'd 'em. 

Where's t' butcher? 
Upon the church-top cracking nuts, and you may go and 
eat the shells ; and them as speak fijrat shau have nine nips, 
nine scratches, and nine boxes over the lug ! 

Every one then endeavours to refrain from speaking, 
in spite of mutual nudges and grimaces, and he who 
first allows a word to escape is punished by the others 
in the various methods adopted by schoolboys, hi 



OAME-RHTME8. 129 

some places the game is played differently. The 
childreu pile their fists in the manner described above; 
then one, or sometimes all of them sing* — 

I've built my house, I've built my wall ; 
I don't care where my chimneys fall ! 

The nierriment consists in the bustle and confusion 
occasioned by the rapid withdrawal of the hands. 

DANCING LOOBY. 

Now we dance looby, looby, looby. 
Now we dance looby, looby, light. 
Shake your right hand a httle 
And timi you round about. 

Now we dance looby, looby, looby. 
Shake your ri^ht luoid a little. 
Shake your left hand a little. 
And turn you round about. 

Now we dance looby, loobj, looby. 
Shake your right hand a httle. 
Shake your left hand a little. 
Shake your right foot a little. 
And turn you round about. 

Now we dance looby, looby, looby. 
Shake your riffht hand a little, 
Shake your \&t hand a little. 
Shake your ri^ht foot a little. 
Shake your left foot a little. 
And turn you round about. 

Now we dance looby, looby, looby. 
Shake your rieht hand a little. 
Shake your left hand a little. 
Shake your riffht foot a little. 
Shake your left foot a little. 
Shake your head a little. 
And turn you round about. 

Children dance round first, then stop and shake the 
hand, &c., then turn slowly round, and then dance in 
a ring again. 



130 IG^AME-BHTMES. 



DROP-<afLOVE. 

Children stand round in a circle> leaving a space 
between each. One walks round the outside, and 
carries a glove in her hand, saying, 

I've a glove in my hand, 

Hittity Hot! 

Another in my other hand. 

Hotter than that! 

So I sow beans, and so thej come up. 

Some in a mug, and some m a cup. 

I sent a letter to my love, 

I lost it, I lost it ! 

I found it, I found it ! 

It bums, it scalds ! 

Repeating the last words very rapidly, till she drops 
the glove behind one of them, and whoever has the 
glove must overtake her, following her exactly in and 
out till she catches her. If the pursuer makes a mistake 
in the pursuit, she loses, and the game is over ; other- 
wise she continues the game with the glove. 



NETTLES GROW IN AN ANGRY BUSH. 

Nettles grow in an angry bush. 

An angry bush, an angry bush ; 
Nettles grow in an ang^ bush. 

With my High, Ho, Ham ! 
Tliis is the way the lady goes. 

The lady goes, the lady goes ; 
This is the way the lady^es* 

With my High, Ho, Ham ! 

The children dance round, singing the first three lines, 
turning round and clapping hands for the fourth hne. 
They curtsey while saying " this is the way the lady 
goes," and again turn round and clap hands for the 



GAME-EHYMES. 131 

last line. The same process is followed in every verse, ' 
only varying what they act,— thus, in the third verse, 
they bow for the gentleman, — 

Nettles ffrow in an angry hnsh, &c. 
This is tne way the gentleman goes, &c. 

Nettles mtw in an angry hnsh, &c. 
This is tne way the imox goes, &c. 

And so the amusement is protracted ad libitum, with 
shoemaking, washing the clothes, ironing, churning, 
milking, niaking up butter, &$. 

GAME OF THE GIPSY. 

One child is selected for Gipsy, one for Mother, and 
one for Daughter Sue. The Mother says, — 

I charge my daughters every one 
To keep good house while I am gone. 
YoxLsxiayou (points) hut special^ ^(w, 
Wr sometimes, but specially Sue.J 
Or else Fll beat you black and blue. 

Boring the Mother's ahsence, the Gipsy comes in, 
entices a child away, and hides her. This process is 
repeated till all the children are hidden, when the 
Mother has to find them. . 



GAME OF THE FOX. 

One child is Fox. He has a knotted handkerchief, 
and a home to which he may go whenever he is tired, 
but while out of home he must always hop on one leg. 
The other children are geese, and have no home. When 
the Fox is coming out he says, — 

The Fox gives warning 
It's a cola frosty mommg. 

After he has said these words he is at liherty to hop 



132 GAME-BHYMES. 

out, and use his knotted handkerchief* \(^oeTer he 
can touch is Fox instead, but the geese run on two legs, 
and if the Fox puts his other leg down, he is hunted 
back to his home. 

THE OLD DAME. 

One child, called the Old Dame, sits on the floor, and 
the rest, joining hands, form a circle round her, and 
dancings sing the following lines : 

Children. To Beodes ! to Beocles ! 
To buy a bunch of nettles ! 
Pray, Old Dame, whaf s o'clock P 

Ikime, One, going for two. 

Children. To Beccles ! to Beocles ! 
To buy a bunch of nettles ! 
Fray, Old Dame, what's o'clock P 

Dame. Two, going for three. 

And so on till she reaches, " Eleven going for twelve." 
After this the following questions are asked, with the 
replies. — C. Where have you been ? D. To the wood. 

C. What forT D. To pick up sticks. C. What for? 

D. To light my fire. C. What for? D. To boil my 
kettle. C. What for? D. To cook some of year 
chickens. The children then all run away as hat as 
they can, and the Old Dame tries to catch one of them. 
Whoever is caught is the next to personate the Dame. 

THE POOR WOMAN OF BABYLON. 

One child stands in the middle of a ring formed by 
the other children joining hands round her. They 
sing- 
Here comes a poor woman from Babylon, 
With three small children all alone : 
One can brew, and one can bake. 
The other can make a pretty round cake. 



QAME-SHYHES, 133 

One can sit in the arbour and spin/ 
Another can make a fine bed for the king. 
Choose the one and leave the rest. 
And take the one yon love the best. 

The child in the middle having chosen one in the ring 
of the opposite sex, the rest say^ — 

Now you're married, we wish you joy ; 
Eather and mother vou must obev : 
Love one another like sister and orother. 
And now, good people, kiss each other ! 

They then Mss, and the process is repeated till all the 
children are in the ring. Another game, played in the 
same way, begins with this verse : 

Sally, Sally Waters, why are you so sad P 
Yon shall have a husband either ^od or bad : 
Then rise, Sally Waters, and sprmkle your pan, 
Tor you're just the young woman to get a mce man. 

The partner being chosen, the two kneel down, and the 
rest sing, — 

Now you're married we wish you joy, 
Father and mother and little boy ! 
Love one another like sister and brother. 
And now, good people, kiss each other. 



QUEEN ANNE. 

Queen Anne, Queen Anne, who sits on her throne. 
As fair as a lily, as white as a swan ; 
The king sends you three letters. 
And begs you'll read one. 

This is said by all the children but one, who represents 
the Queen, they having previously hid a ball upon one 
of their namber. The Queen answers, 

I cannot read one unless I read all. 

So pray, , deliver the ball. 

12 



134 OAMS-BHYMES; 

Naming any child she pleases. If she guesses rightly 
the child who has the ball takes her place as Qaeen. 
If wrongly, the child who has the ball says. 

The ball is mine, and none of thine, 

So joxL, proud Queen, may sit on your throne, 

While we, your messengers, go and come. 

Or, sometimes, these lines, — 

The ball is mine, and none of thine. 

You are the fair lady to sit on : 

And we're the black gipsies to go and come* 



COUNTING-OUT RHYMES. 

The operation of counting-out is a very important 
mystery in many puerile games. The boys or girls 
stand in a row, and the operator begins with the coant- 
ing-out rh3rme, appropriating a word to each, till he 
comes to the person who receives the last word, and 
who is accordingly ''out." This operation is continued 
till there is only one left, who is the individual chosen 
for the hero of the game,^ whatever it may be. The 
following verses are selected from a host of rhymes em- 
ployed for this purpose : 

One-ery, two-ery, 

Tick-eiy, tee-vy; 
HoUow-bone, crack-a-bone. 

Pen and eevy. 
Ink, pink. 

Pen and ink ; 
A study, a stive, 

A stove, and a sink I 



QAM£-BHTM£8. 1.35 

One-ery, two-ery, 

Tiokery, teven ; 
Alabo, crackabo. 

Ten and eleven : 
Spin, spon. 

Must be gone ; 
Alabo, craciuiboy 

Twenij-ane/ 
O-XJ-T spella out. 

[Something similar to this is fonnd in Swedish, 
ArwidssoD, iii. 492 : 

Apala, mesala, 

Mesinka, meso^ 

Sebedeij sebedo ! 

Extra, lara, 

Kajsa, Sara! 

Hieck, yeck, 

Vallingsack, 

Gack au din linge man veck, 

Ut!] 

^dmn^ digdum, didum, dest, 
Cot-lo, we4o, wi-lo, west ; 
Cot pan, must be done, 
• Twiadledum, twaddledum, twenty-one ! 

Hytum, skytum, 
Perridi styxum, 
Perriwenlwyxum, 
A bomun D. 



136 



IV.— ALPHABET RHYMES. 

AmoDgst the yarious devices to establish a royal road 
to infantine learning, none are more ancient or useful 
than the rhymes which serve to impress the letters of 
the alphabet upon the attention and memory of children. 
As early as the fifteenth century^ *' Mayster Benet/' who 
was rector of Sandon, in Essex, in 1440, and afterwards 
a prebend of St. Panl's, composed or translated an al- 
phabet-rhyme, which not only professed to recall the 
memory of the letters, but at a time when the benefit 
of clergy was in vogue, held out the inducement of 
providing means for avoiding the punishment of death. 
The following copy is taken from two versions in MS. 
Harl. 541, compared with each other : 

*' Who so wyll be wyse and worshyp to wynne, leem 
he on lettur and loke upon another of the A. B. C. of 
Arystotle. Noon argument agaynst that, ffor it is 
counseUe for derkes and knightes athowsand; and also 
it myght amend a meane man fulle oft the lemyng of a 
lettur, and his lyf save. It shal not greve a good man, 
though gylt be amend. Rede on this ragroent, and role 
the theraftur, and whoso be grevid yn his goost governe 
the bettur. Herkyn and here every man and chud how 
that I begynne : 

A. to Amorous, to Aventurous, ne Angre the not to moche. 

B. to Bold, to Besy, and Boorde not to large. 

C. to Curtes, to Cmel, and Care not to sore. 

D. to DuUe, to Dredefulle, and Drynk not to oft. 

E. to EUynge, to Excellent, ne to EmstfuUe neyther. 
E. to Ferse, ne to Familier, but Frendely of chere. 
G. to Glad, to Gloryous, and Grclowsy thow hate. 

H. to Hasty, to Hardv, ne to Hevy yn thyne herte. 

J. to Jettyng, to Janglyng, and Jape not to oft. 

K. to Keping, to Kynd, and ware Knaves tatches among. 

L. to Lothe, to Lovyng, to Lyberalle of goodes. 

M. to Medlus, to Mery, but as Maner asketh. 



ALPHABET RHYMES. 137 

N. to Noyons^ to Nyce, nor yet to Newefangle. 
0. to Orpyd, to Ovprthwarte, and Othes thou hate. 
P. to Preysyng, to JPrivy, with Prynces ne with dukes. 
Q. to Queynt, to Querelous, to Quesytife of questions. 
R. to Eyetous, to Revelyng, ne Eage not to meche. 
S. to Straunge, ne to Steryng, nor Stare not to brode. 
T. to Taylous, to Talewyse, for Temperaunce ys best. 
V. to Venemoua, to Venffeable, and Wast not to myche. 
W. to Wyld, to Wrothfiule, and Wade not to depe, 
A mesoiabulle meane Way is best for us aUe." 



A. APPLE-PIE. 

Eachard^ a learned clergyman of the Church of 
Enghmd, published a work in 1671,* in which he con- 
descends to illustrate his argument by a reference to 
this celebrated history. Tallang of the various modes 
of preaching adopted by different sects, he proceeds in 
this manner : ^' And whereas it has been observed that 
some of our clergie are sometimes over nice in talcing 
notice of the meer words that they find in texts^ so 
these are so accurate as to go to the very letters. As 
suppose, sir, you are to give an exhortation to repent- 
ance upon that of St. Matthew, * Bepent ye, for the 
kingdom of Heaven is at hand :' you must observe 
that Repent is a rich word, wherein every letter exhorts 
ns to our duty, — Repent^ R. readily, E. earnestly, 
P. presently, E. effectually, N. nationally, T. thoroughly. 
Again, Bepent Roaringly, Eagerly, Plentifully, Heavily 
(because of A), Notably, Terribly. And why not, Be- 
pent Barely, Evenly, Prettily, Elegantly, Neatly, Tightly? 
And also, why not, A apple-pasty, B bak'd it, C cut it, 
I) divided it, E eat it, F fought tor it, G got it, &c. I 
had not time, sir, to look any further into their way of 
preaching ; but if I had, I am sure I should have found 
that they have no reason to despise our church upon 

* ObservatioBs, &c., 8yo. Lond. 1671* P* 160. 

12§ 



138 ALPHABET RHYMES. 

that account.'* The worthy dime would have cenBured 
the sermon on Malt attributed to the elder Dodd. 

We thus find this nursery romance descending in all 
its purity for nearly two centuries. It may be eren 
older than the time of Charles IL, for it does not appear 
as a novelty in the quotation we have just given. Be 
this as it may, the oldest edition I know of was printed 
some half-century since by Marshall, in Aldermary 
Churchyard, entitled " The Tragical Death of A. Apple- 
pye, who was cut in pieces and eat by twenty-five gen- 
tlemen, with whom all little people ought to be very 
well acquainted,'* which runs as follows : 

A. apple-pye, B. bit it, 
C. cut it, D. dealt it, 

E. eat it, F. fought for it, 

G. got it, H. had it,* 

J. join'd for it, K. kept it, 

L. lonff'd for it, M. moam'd for ^t^ 

N. noaded at it, 0. opeu'd it, 

P. peep'd in it, Q. ouarter'd it, 

B. ran for it, S. stole it, 

T. took it, V. viewed it, W. wanted it; 

X. Y. Z. and Ampersy-and, 

They all wish'd for a piecb in hand. 

At last they every one agreed 
Upon the apple-pye to feed ; 
But as there seem'd to be so many. 
Those who were last might not have any. 
Unless some method there was taken. 
That every one might save their bacon. 
They all agreed to stand in order 
Around the apple-})ye's fine border. 
Take turn as they in hornbook stand. 
From great A down to &, 
In equal parts the pye divide. 
As you may see on rother side. 

• Some copies say «• H. halvM it, I. ey*d it," and afterwards, «' U. hew'd 
it, . . X. crossed it, Y, yeam'd for it, and Z. put it in his podcet, and said. 
Well done!" 



ALPHABET RHYM£S. 132f 

Then follows a woodcut of the pie, surrounded by a 
square of the letters, though it is not very easy to per- 
ceive how the conditions of the problem are to be ful- 
filled. The remainder of the book, a small 32mo., is 
occupied with "A Curious Discourse that passed between 
the twenty-five letters at dinner-time,*' — 

Says A, give me a good large slice. 

Says B, a little bit, but nice. 

Says C, cut me a piece of crust. 

Taike it, says D, it's dry as dust. 

Says E, I'll eat now fast, who will. 

Says F, I vow Fll have my fill. 

Says G, give it me good and great. 

Says H, a little bit 1 hate. 

Says I, I love the juice the best. 

And K the very same confest. 

Says L, there's nothing more I love. 

Says M, it makes your teeth to move. 

N noticed what the others said ; 

O others' plates Mrith grief surve/d- 

P praised the cook up to the life. 

Q quarrel'd 'cause he'd a bad knife. 

Says R, it runs short, I'm afraid. 

S silent sat, and nothing said. 

T thought that talking might lose time ; 

U understood it at meals a crime. 

W wish'd there had been a quince in ; 

Says X, those cooks there's no convincing. 

Says Y, I'll eat, let others wish. 

Z sat as mute as any fish. 

While Ampersy-ancl he licked the dish. 

The manner in which a practical moral good was to 
be inferred from this doggerel is not very apparent, but 
Mr. Marshall had a way of his own in settling the dif- 
ficulty. The finale must not be omitted : **^ Having 
concluded their discourse and dinner together, I have 
nothing more to add, but that, if my little readers are 
pleased with what they have found in this book, they 
haye nothing to do but to run to Mr. Marshall's at 



140 ALPHABET BHTME8. 

No. 4, in Aldermary Churchyard^ where they may haVe 
Bevend books, not less entertaining than tnis, of the 
same size and price. Bat that you may not think I 
leave yon too abruptly, I here present yon with the pic- 
ture of the old woman who made the apple-pye yoa 
have been reading about. She has several more in her 
basket, and she promises, if you are good children, 
you shall never go supperless to bed while she has one 
left. But as good people always ask a blessing of God 
before meals, therefore, as a token that yon are good, 
and deserve a pye, you must learn the two following 
graces, the one to be said before the meals, the other 
after ; and the Lord's Prayer every night and morning." 
Two graces and the Lord's Prayer conclude the tract. 

The following alphabet or literal rhyme refers to 
Carr, Earl of Somerset, the favorite of James I : 

J. C. U. E. 

Good Monnseir Gar 

About to fall ; 
U. K A. K. 
As most men say. 

Yet that's not all. 
U. 0. K. P. 
With a nuUytye, 

That shameiesse packe ! 
8. X. his yf (m/e), 
Whos shameiesse lyfe 

Hath broke your backe. 

MS. Shane 1489, f. 9, v^ 

A. B. O. 
D. E. E. a 
H. L J. K., if you look you'll see ; 
L. M. N. 0. P. Q. 
R. S. T. U. V. W. 
X. Y. Z. 

Heigh ho ! my heart is low, 

lul^mind is all on one ; 
It's W for I know who, 
. . And T for my love, Tom ! 



141 



v.— RIDDLE-RHYMES. 

A very favorite class of rhymes with children, though 
the solutions are often most difficult to guess. Nursery 
riddle-rhymes are extremely numerous, and a volume 
might he filled with them without much difficulty. 
Many of the most common ones are found in manu- 
script collections of the sixteenth and seventeenth 
eentories. 

Tm in every one's way. 

But no one I stop ; 
My four horns every day 
In eveiy way plaj. 
And my head is nailed on at the top ! 
—A turnstile. 

There was a king met a king 

In a straight Eine ; 
Say^ the king to the king. 

Where have you been P 
I've been in the wood, 
• Hunting the doe : 
Pray lend me your dog. 

That I mav do so. 
Call him, call him ! 

What must I call him ? 
Call him as you and I, 

We've done both. 

^The dog's name was Beeni and the name of the per- 
sons who met each other was King. This riddle was 
obtained recently from oral tradition. I observe, how- 
ever, aversion of it in MS. Harl. 1962, of the seven- 
teenth century. 

The cuckoo and the gowk. 

The laverock and the lark, 

The twire-snipe, the weather-bleak ; 

How many burds is that ? 

--Three« for the second name in each line is a synonyme. 



142 EIDDLE-RHTMES. 

The cuckoo is called a gowk in the North of England; 
the lark, a laverock ; ^nd the twire-snipe and weather- 
bleak, or weather-bleater, are the same birds. 

Hoddy-doddj, 
With a round bhu^ body! 
Three feet and a wooden hat ; 
What* B tibat P 

— ^An iron pot. In the country, an iron pot with three 
legs, and a wooden cover, the latter raised or put on by 
means of a peg at the top, is used for suspending over 
a fire, or to place on the hearth with a wood fire. 

Biddle me, riddle me, what is that 
Over the head and under the bat P 

—Hair. Vrom Kent. 

The fiddler and his wife. 

The piper and his mother. 
Ate three half-cakes, three whole cakes. 

And three Quarters of another. 
How much dia each get ?' 

— ^The fiddler's wife was the piper's mother. Each one 
therefore got ^+ 1 +i or 1-|. 

There was a Httle green house. 
And in the little green house 
There was a little brown house. 
And in the little brown house 
There was a httle yellow house. 
And in the httle yellow house 
There was a httle white house. 
And in the little white house 
There was a httle heart. 



•A walnut. 



Now t 
-The teeth and gums. 



A flodc of white sheep 

On a red hill ; 
Here they go, there tbev go, 
hey stand still i 



KXDDLS-RHYMSS.' M3 

Old Tftther Greybearil, 

Without tooth or tongue, 
K you'll give me your &ger, 

rlL give you my thumb. 

—Greybeard, says Moor, Suffolk Words, p. 155, was 
the appropriate name for a fine large handsome stone 
bottle, holding perhaps three or four, or more gallons, 
baying its handle terminating in a venerable Druidic 
face. This riddle appears to be alluded to in MS. 
Harl. 7316, p.61: 

Fm a dull senseless blockhead, 'tis true, when I'm young. 
And like old,j;Tandsire Greyberd without tooth or tongue, 
Bnt by the kmd Jidp and assistance of arts 
I sometimes attain to poUteness of parts: 

What God never sees. 
What the king seldom sees ; 
What we see every day : 
Read my riddle,--! pray. 

—An equal. This riddle is well known in iSwedcn... 
The following version was given me by Mr. Stephens : 

Jag ser det dagligen; 
Kungen ser det sallaii; 
Gud ser det aldrig. 

"I see it daily; 
The king sees it seldom ; 
Godjsees it never," 
. • • 

As white as milk. 
And not milk ; 
As green as grass. 
And not grass ; 
As red as blopd. 
And not blood; 
As black as soot. 
And not soot 1 

—A bramble-blossom. 



144 BIDDLE-BHYMES. 

The land was white. 

The seed was black ; 
If 11 take a good scholar 

To riddle me that. 
— Paper and writing. 

As high as a castle. 
As weak as a wastle ; 
And all the king's horses 
Cannot pull it down. 

—Smoke. A wastle is a North country term for a twig 
or withy, possibly connected with A. S. wsedl. 

IVe seen yon where you never was. 

And where you ne er will be ; 
And yqt yon in that very same place 

May still be seen by me. 

— The reflection of a face in a looking-glass. 

Banks fuU, braes full. 
Though ye gather all day, 
Ye'll not gather your hands full. 

— ^The mist. From Northumberland. Sometimes thos: 

A hiU fuU, a hole full, 

Te cannot catch a bowl folL 

A young man and a young woman quarrelled, and the 
former, in his anger, exclaimed,— 

Three words I know to be true. 
All which begin with W. 

The young woman immediately guessed the enignui, 
and replied in a similar strain, — 

I too know them, 

And eke three which begin with M. 

— ^Woman wants wit. Man much more. 

The calf, the goose, the bee. 
The world is ruled by these three. 

— Parchment, pens, and wax. 



-Smoke. 



—Ice. 



RIDDLB-BHYMES. 1 4 5 

A house fall, a yard fall. 
And je can't catch a bowl fall. 



As I was going o'er London bridge, 
I heard something crack ; 

Not a man in all England 
Can mend that ! 



I had a little sister. 

They called her Pretty Peep; 
She wades in the waters. 

Deep, deep, deep ! 
She chmbs ap the moontains. 

High, high, high; 
My poor little sister. 

She has bat one eye. 

—A star. This channiiig little riddle is always a great 
&TOiite with children. 

As I was going o'er yon moor of moss, 

I met a man on a gray horse ; 

He whipp'd and he wail'd, 

I aak'd mm what he ail'd ; 

He said he was going to his father's faneral. 

Who died seven years before he was bom ! 

—His father was a dyer. 

As I looVd oat o' my chamber window, 

I heard something fall ; 
I sent my maid to pick it ap. 

Bat she coaldn't pick it all. 

—Snuff. From Yorkshire. 

Black within, and red withoat, 
Poar coiners roand aboat. 

—A ehimney. From Yorkshire. 

13 



146 BIDDLE-RHTM£S. 

As I was going o'er London bridge, 
I met a drove of guinea pigs ; 
Thev were nick'd and they were nack'd. 
Ana they were all yellow back'd. 

-A swarm of bees ; not a very likely family to meet in 



that Deigbbourhood, at least nowadays, but some of 
the authors of these poems seem to have been con- 
tinually traversing London bridge. 

Higher than a house, higher than a tree ; 
Oh ! whatever can that be ? 

— A star. From Yorkshire. 

Which weighs heavier — 

A stone of lead 

Or a stone of feather ? 

— ^They both weigh alike. 

Lilly low, lilly low, set up on an end. 
See little baby go out at town end. 

— A candle. Lillylow is a North country term for the 
flame of a candle. Low, A.-S. lig, is universal. 

At the end of my yard there is a vat, 
Four-and-twenty ladies dancing in that : 
Some in green gowns, and some with blue hat : 
He is a wise man who can tell me that. 

—A field of flax. 

Jackatawad ran over the moor. 
Never behind, but always before ! 

— ^The ignis fatuus, or Will o' the Wisp. Jaehatavxid 
is a provincial term for this phenomenon. 

Black'm, saut'm, rough'm, glower'm, saw, 
Click'm, gatt'm, flaug'm into gimigaw. 

— Eating a sloe. A North country riddle, given by 
Brockett. Girnigaw is the cavity of the mouth. 



RIDDLE-RHYMES. 147 

There was a man rode through our town, 

Gray Grizzle was his name ; 
His saddle-bow was gilt with gold ; 

Three times I've named his name. 

—Gaffer Was. From Yorkshire. 



There was a man went over the Wash, 

Grizzle grey was his horse ; 

Bent was his saddle-bow : 

I've told you his name three times, 

And yet you don't know ! 

—The same as the last. From Norfolk. 



I am become of flesh and blood. 

As other creatures be ; 
Yet there's neither flesh nor blood 

Doth remain in me. 
I make kin^ that they fall out, 

I make them agree; 
And yet there's neither flesh nor blood 

Both remain in me. 

—A pen. Biddies similar to this are current in most 
ianguages. Mr. Stephens has kindly furnished me with 
the following one obtained in Sweden : 

Ai kott och blod ar ja^ uuprunnen, 
Men ingen blod ar i mig funnen ; 
Manga herrar de mig bara, 
Med nvassa knifvar de mig skara. 
MSngen har jag gifvit ara, 

Mangen har jag tagit af, 
Mangen har jag lagt i graf. 

Of flesh and blood sprung am I ever ; 
But blood in me that fiua ye never. 
Many ereat lords bear me proudly, 
With snarp knives cutting me loudly. 



148 RIDDLE-BHYMES. 

Many I've graced right honorably : 
Sich ones many Tye humble maae ; 
Many within their graye I've laid ! 

The pen has been a fertile subject for the modem 
riddle-writer. The best production of the kind was 
printed a few months ago in the Times newspaper, con- 
tributed by Miss Agnes Strickland. 

Into my house came neighbour John, 
With three legs and a wooden one ; 
If one be taken from the same. 
Then just five there will remain. 

— He had a lY legged stool with him, and taking away 
the left-hand numeral, there remains Y. 

Link lank, on a bank. 
Ten against four. 
^A milkmaid. 

Two legs sat upon three legs. 
With four legs standing by ; 
Four then were drawn oy ten : 
Bead my riddle ye can't. 
However much ye try. 

— An amplification of the above, the milkmaid of coaise 
sitting on a three-legged stool. 

Over the water. 

And under the water. 

And always with its head down ! 

— ^A nail in the bottom of a ship. 

As straight as a maypole. 

As little as a pin. 
As bent as a bucker. 

And as round as a ring. 

I do not know the solution of this riddle. A bucker 
is a bent piece of wood by which slaughtered sheep are 
hung up by their expanded hind legs, before being cut 
out. 



BIDDLE-KHYMES. 149 

Hitty Rtty within the wall, 
Hitty Pitty without the wall : 
If you touch Hitty Pitty, 
Hitty Pitty will bite you. 

—A nettle. MS. Karl. 1 962, xvii. cent. 

The first letter of our fore-fadyr, 
A worker of wax. 
An I and an N ; 
The colour of an ass : 
And what haye you then ? 

— Abindon, or Abingdon, in Berks. An ancient rebus 
given in Lelandi Itin. ed. 1744, ii. 136. 

I saw a fight the other day ; 
A damsel did begin the fray. 
She with her dauy friend did meet. 
Then standing in the open street ; 
She gave such hard ana sturdy blows. 
He bled ten gallons at the nose ; 
Yet neither seem to faint nor fall, 
Nor gave her any abuse at all. 

—A pump. MS. Harl. 1962, xvij. cent. 

A water there is I must pass, 
A broader water never was ; 
And yet of all waters I ever did see, 
To pass over with less jeopardy. 

—The dew. Prom the same MS. 

There is a bird of great renown, 
Useful in city and in town ; 
None work like unto him can do ; 
He's yellow, black, red, and green, 
A very prettv bird I mean ; 
Yet he's botn fierce and fell : 
I count him wise that can this tell. 

—A bee. From the same MS. 

13 § 



150 KIDDLE-BHTMES. 

As I went over Hottery Tottery, 

I looked into Harbora Lilly ; 

I spied a cutterell 

Playinff with her cambril. 

I ciyed, Ho, neighbour, ho ! 

Lend me your cue and your goe. 

To shoot at yonder cutterell 

Playing with her cambril. 

Ana you shtdl have the curie of her loe. 

—A man calling to his neighbour for a gun to shoot a 
deer, and he should have her humbles. MS. ibid. 

As I went through my houter touter, 

Houter trouter, verly ; 
I see one Mr. Higamgige 

Gome over the hill of Parley. 
But if I had my early verly, 

Carly verly verly ; 
I would have bine met with Mr. Higamgige 

Come over the hill of Parley. 

— ^A man going over a hill^ and a fly lighting on his 
head. MS. ibid. 



THE FOUR SISTERS. 



I have four sisters beyond the 

Para-mara, dictum, domine. 
And thev did send four presents to me> 

Partum, quartum, paradise, tempum, 

Para-mara^ dictum, domine ! 

The first it was a bird without e'er a bone ; 

Para-mara, dictum, &c. 
The second was a cheriy without e'er a stone ; 

Partum, quartum, &c. 

The third it was a blanket without e'er a thread, 

Para-mara, dictum, &c. 
The fourth it was a book which no man could read, 

Partum, quartum, &c. 



BIDDLE-BHYMES . 151 

How can there be a bird without e'er a bone ? 

Para-mara, dictum, &c. 
How can there be a cherry without e'er a stone ? 

Partum, quartum, &c. 

How can there be a blanket without e'er a thread P 

Para-mara^ dictum, &c. 
How can there be a book which no man can read P 

Partum, quartum, &c. 

When the bird's in the shell, there is no bone ; 

Para-mara, dictum, Ac. 
When the cheny's in the bud, there is no stone ; 

Partum, quartum, &c. 

When the blanket's in the fleece, there is no thread ; 

Para-mara, dictum, &c. 
When the book's in the press, no man can read ; 

Partum, quartum, &c. 

Sereral yersioiiA of tfau metrical riddle are common 
in the North of Eng^d, and an ingenious antiquary 
btf suggested that it is a parody on the old monkish 
ungB ! It will remind the reader of the Scottish ballad 
of Captain Wedderbum's Courtship, 

q hold away from me, kind sir, 

' I pray vou let me be ; 
For I wm not go to your bed. 

Till you dress me dishes three : 
Dishes three you must dress to me. 

And I must have them a'. 
Before that I lie in your bed, 

Bither at stock or wa'. 

I must have to my supper 

A cherty without a stone; 
And I must have to my supper 

A chicken without a bone : 
And I must have to my supper 

A bird without a ga'. 
Before I lie into your bed. 

Either at stock or wa'. 



152 RIDDLES. 

When the cherry is in the bloom, 

I'm sore it hath no stone ; 
And when the chicken is in its shell, 

I'm sure it hath no bone : 
The dove it is a gentle \nid. 

It flies without a ga'. 
And we shall both lie in ae bed. 

And thou's lie next the wa'. 

The belief that a pigeon or dove has no gall forms the 
subject of a chapter iq Browne's Vulgar and Common 
Errors, iii. 3. The gall-bladder does not exist in the 
dove. 

THE DEMANDS JOYOUS. 

It is not generally known that many of our popular 
riddles are centuries old. Yet such is the fact, and those 
whose course of reading has made them acquainted with 
ancient collections are not unfrequently startled by ob- 
serving a quibble of the fifteenth or sixteenth century go 
the round of modem newspapers as a new invention, or 
perhaps as an importation from America ! A few months 
ago, an instance of this species of resuscitation took place 
in ikie publication of the question, " Which were made 
first, elbows or knees?" This was an enigma current 
in England in the time of Queen Elizabeth, and is 
found in a manuscript in the British Museum written 
before the close of the sixteenth century. 

The earliest collection of riddles printed in this 
country came from the press of Wynkyn de Worde in 
the year 1511, in black letter, under the title of the 
" Demaundes Joyous." Only one copy of this tract, 
which was '' imprynted at Loudon, in Flete Strete, at 
the sygne of the Sonne," is known to enst, and it is 
now preserved in the public library at Cambridge. It 
is chiefly a compilation from an early French tract under 
a similar title, but which is far more remarkable for its 
grossness. The reader may be amused with the follow- 



BIDDLBS. 153 

ing gpecimensy and perhaps recognise some of them as 
old fayorites : 

** Demand. Who hore the best burden that ever was 
borne ? — 72. The ass on which our Lady rode when she 
fled with our Lord into Egypt. 2). What became of 
that ass? — R. Adam's mother did eat her. D, Who is 
Adam's mother ? — B, The earth. 

Demand. What space is from the surface of the sea 
to its greatest depth ? — B. A stone's cast. 

Demand. How many calves' tails behoveth to reach 
from the earth to the sky ? — B. No more but one, an' 
it be long enough. 

Demand. Which is the most profitable beast, and 
that which men eat least of? — B. Bees. 

Demand. Which is the broadest water, and the least 
jeopardy to pass over ? — B, The dew. 

Demand. What thing is that which never was nor 
never will be ? — B. A mouse making her nest in a cat's 
ear. 

Demand, Why doth a dog turn himself thrice round 
before he layeth down ? — Because he knoweth not the 
bed's head from its foot. 

Demand. Why do men make an oven in the town ? — 
B. For because they cannot make the town in the oven. 

Demand. How may a man know or perceive a cow in 
a flock of sheep ? — B. By sight. 

Demand. What alms are worst bestowed that men 
give. — B. Alms to a blind man, for he would willingly 
see him haneed by the neck that gave it him. 

Demand. What thing is that which hath no end ? — 
B. A bowl. 

Demand. What people be they that never go a-pro- 
cession ? — B. Those that ring the bells in the mean time. 

Demand, What is that that freezeth never? — B, Hot 
water. 

Demand. What thing is that that is most Ukest unto 
a horse ? — B, That is a mare. 



154 KIDDLES. 

Demand. What thing is that which is more firightfol 
the smaller it is 7 — R. A bridge. 

Demand, Why doth an ox lie down 7 — 22. Because he 
cannot sit. 

Demand. How many straws go to a goose's nest?— 
B. None, for lack of feet. 

Demand. Who slew the fourth part of the world?— 
R. Cain, when he killed his brother Abel. 

Demand. What man is he that getteth his living back- 
wards 7 — R. A ropemaker* 

The reader will please to recollect the antiquity of 
these, and their curiosity, before he condemns their 
triviality. Let the worst be said of them, they are 
certainly as good as some of Shakespeare's jokes, which 
no doubt elicited peals of laughter from an Elizabethan 
audience. This may be said to be only a negative kind 
of recommendation, and, indeed, when we reflect on 
the apparent poverty of verbal humour in those days, 
the wonder is that it could have been so well relished. 
The fact must be that we often do not understand the 
greater part of the meaning intended to be conveyed. 

To revert to the lengthened transmission of jokes, I 
may mention my discovery of the following in MS. 
Addit. 5008, in the British Museum, a journal of the 
time of Queen Elizabeth . The anecdote, by some means, 
went the round of the provincial press in 1843, as of 
modern composition. " On a very rainy day, a man, 
entering his house, was accosted by his wife in the fol- 
lowing manner : ' Now, my dear, while you are wet, go 
and fetch me a bucket of water.' He obeyed, broaght 
the water and threw it all over her, sapng at the same 
time, * Now, my dear, while you are wet, go and fetch 
another !' " 



155 



VI.— NATURE-SONGS. 

Rhymes upon nktural objects and rural sayings are 
perhaps more generally interesting than any other relics 
of the popular anthology. They not unfrequently con- 
tain scientific truths, and have been considered worthy 
of examination by the philosopher; while the unlearned 
are often contented to use them as substitutes for the 
barometer or Nautical Almanac. We all recollect the 
Btory of Br. Johnson, and the boy who prophesied a 
shower when not a speck was to be seen in the sky. 
The doctor, drenched with rain, hastened back to the 
lad, and offered him a shilling if he would divulge the 
data of his prediction. ''Why, you zee, zur, when 
that black ram holds its tail up, it be sure to rain !" 
The story loses none of its force when we find it in the 
Hundred Merry Tales, printed nearly two centuries be- 
fore Dr. Johnson was bom. 

THE RAINBOW. 

tlainbow i' th' morning 
Shipper's warning ; 
Rambow at niffht 
Shipper's delignt. 

This, in one form or other, is a most common weather 
proverb. The present version was heard in Essex. 

If there be a rainbow in the eve. 

It will rain and leave ; 

But if there be a rainbow in the morrow. 

It will neither lend nor borrow. 

WEATHER-RHYMES. 

The ev'ning red, and the morning gray, 
Are the tokens of a bonny day. 



156 NATUBE-SONGS. 

Winter's thunder 
Is the world's wonder. 
From Lancashire. 

As the days grow longer. 
The storms srow stronger ; 
As the days lengthen. 
So the stcnms strengthen. 

No weather is ill. 
If the wind be still. 

When doads appear like rocks and towers, 
The earth's renesh'd by frequent showers. 

This proverb is sufficiently homely, yet the first line 
reminds us of the description of the douds in Anthony 
and Cleopatra, act iv. sc. 12; but the commonest ob- 
server must have seen the " tower*d citadel," and the 
''pendant rock.*' 

A northern har 

Brings drought from far. 

A har is a mist or thick fog. 

First comes David, next oomes Chad, 
Then comes Whinwall as if he was mad. 

Alluding to the storms about the day of St. Winwaloe, 
March Sd, called St. Whinwall by the country people. 

Eain, rain, go to Spain ; 
Come again another day : 
When i brew and when I bake, 
I'll give you a figgy cake. 

This appears to be a child's address to rain, a kind of 
charm or entreaty for its disappearance. A plum-cake 
is always called a figgy cake in Devonshure, where 
raisins are denominated/?^^, and hence the term. Other 
versions are given by Chambers, p. 155, who remarks 
that it was the practice among itie children of Greece, 
when the sun happened to be obscured by a cloud, to 



NATURE-SONGS. 157 

exclaim, "'E£ex' J, ^iX' i^Xiel^Come forth, beloved sun I 
Howell, in his Proverbs, 1659, p. 20, has,— 

Rain, rain, go to Spain ; 
Pair weather, come again. 

'^ Little children have a custome, when it raines, to 
sing or charme away the raine ; they all joine in a 
chorus, and sing thus, viz. : 

Eaine, raine, goe away. 
Come againe a Saterday. 

I have a conceit that this childish custome is of great 
antiquity, and that it is derived from the gentiles." 
(Aubrey, MS. Lansd. 231.) 

If Candlemas day be fiedr and bright. 
Winter will have another flight. 

It is generally the case that fine weather continues if 
it is mild at Candlemas. A somewhat similar proverb 
is given by M. Kuhn, Gebrauche und Aberglauben, ii. 12. 

It is time to cock your hay and com. 
When the old donkey blows his hom. 

The braying of the ass is said to be an indication of 
rain or hail. 



SNOW. 

In Yorkshire, when it begins to snow, the boys ex- 
claim, — 

Snow, snow faster. 

The cow's in the pasture. 

When the storm is concluding, or when they wish it to 
give over, they sing,— 

Snow, snow, give over. 
The cow's in the clover ! 

14 



158 NATUBE-SONOS. 

White is the rural generic tenn for snow, and hlaek 
for rain. Thus, in the well-known proverb,— 

February fill the dyke, 
Be it black or be it white ; 
But if it be white, 
It's the better to like. 

The Anglo-Saxon and Northern literatures are M of 
similar poetical synonymes. A common nnrsery riddle 
conceals the term snow by the image of a white gloTe, 
and another in the same manner designates rain as a 
black glove : 

Bound the house, and round the house. 
And there lies a white glove in the window.* 

Bound the house, and round the house. 
And there lies a black glove in the window. 

THE WIND. 

When the wind is in the east. 
Then the fishes do bite least ; 
When the wind is in the west. 
Then the fishes bite the best ; 
When the wind is in the north. 
Then the fishes do come forth ; 
When the wind is in the south. 
It blows the bait in the fish's mouth. 

This weather-wise advice to anglers was obtained from 
Oxfordshire . It is found in a variety of versions through- 
out Great Britain. 
The Lincolnshire shepherds say, — 

When the wind is in the east, 
'Tis neither good for man nor beast : 
When the wind is in the south. 
It is in the rain's mouth. 

* A copy of this riddle occun In MS. Harl. 1962, of the seTentecnth century* 



NATUBE-SONGS. 159 

March winds are proverbial, and the following distich 
is not uncommon in Yorkshire : 

March winds and April showers. 
Bring forth May flowers. 

To which we may add,— 

The south wind brings wet weather. 
The north wind wet and cold together ; 
The west wind always brings us rain. 
The east wind blows it back again. 

The solution of the following pretty nursery-riddle is 
a hurricane of wind : 

Arthur o' Bower has broken his band. 
He comes roaring up the land : 
The King of Scots, with all his power, 
Cannot turn Arthur of the Bower. 



THE MOON. 

The inhabitants of most of our rural districts still 
retain the old disUke to a new moon on Friday, and 
perpetuate it by the saying,— 

Friday's moon. 
Come when it wool. 
It comes too soon. 

Or by the following,— 

Friday's moon. 

Once in seven year comes too soon. 

Some persons, however, contend that Saturday is the 
unlucky day for the new, and Sunday equally so for a 
full moon. So runs the distich, — 

Saturday's new, and Sunday's full. 
Was never fine, nor never wool. 

The moon anciently occupied an important place in 



160 NA.TURE-S0NG9. 

loye-divinations. The following invocation to the planet 
is used hy young women throughout the country : 

New moon, new moon, declare to me 
Shall I this night my true love see ? 
Not in his best, but in the array 
As he walks in eveiy day. 

Or, sometimes, the following : 

New moon, new moon, I hail thee ! 
By all the virtue in thy body. 
Grant this night that I may see 
He who my true love is to be. 

Aubrey, in his Miscellanies, ed. 1696, p. 105, gives 
the following lines, used in Yorkshire for charming the 
moon to cause a dream of a future hushand : 

All hail to the moon, all hail to thee ! 
I, prithee, good moon, reveal to me 
This night who my husband must be ! 

THE CUCKOO. 

We are usefully reminded of the season of the cuckoo 
by the following homely proverhial lines : 

In April, 

The cuckoo shows his bill ; 

In May, 

He sings all day ; 

In June, 

He alters his tune : 

In July, 

Away he'll fly ; 

Come August, 

Away he must ! 

In some dialects thus : 

In April, 

'A shake 'as bill; 

In May, 

'A pipe all day ; 



NATURE-SONGS. 161 

In Jane, 

'A change 'as tune ; 

In July, 

Awajr 'a flj ; 

Else in August, 

Awaj 'a must. 

Of the " change of tune" alluded to in these yerses, 
it has heen remarked (Trans. Linn. See.) that in early 
season the cuckoo begins with the interval of a minor 
third, proceeds to a major third, then to a fourth, then 
to a fifth ; after which his voice breaks^ never attaining 
a minor sixth. This was observed by old John Heywood, 
Workes, 1576, vi. 95 : 

In April the koo-coo can sing her note by rote. 
In June of tune she cannot sing a note ; 
At first, koo-koo, koo-coo, sing shrill can she do ; 
At last, kooke, kooke, kooke, six cookes to one koo. 

The following proverbial verses relating to this bird 
are current in the North of England : 

The cuckoo comes in April, 

Stops all the month of May, 
Sings a song at Midsummer, 

ijid then he goes away. 

When the cuckoo comes to the bare thorn, 
Sell your cow and buy your com ; 
But when she comes to the full bit. 
Sell your com and buy your sheep. 

The following " tokens of love and marriage by hear- 
ing the cuckow, or seeing other birds first in the morn- 
ing," are extracted from an old chap-book entitled, 
the €h)lden Cabinet, or the Compleat Fortune-teller, 
n. d. : " When you walk out in the spring, as soon as 
you hear the cuckow, sit down on a bank or other 
convenient place, and pull your stockings off, saying,-— 

May this to me. 
Now liappy be. 

14 § 



162 NATUBE-S0NG8. 

Then look between your great toe and the next, you'll 
find a hair that will easily come off. Take and look at 
it, and of the same colour will that of your lover be ; 
wrap it in a piece of paper, and keep it ten days care- 
fully ; then, if it has not changed^ the person wi]l be 
constant : but if it dies, you are flattered." Gray alludes 
to this method of diyination in his Fourth Pastoral, 
ed. 1742, p. 32. 

THE ROBIN AND THE WREN. 

The superstitious reverence with which these birda 
are almost universally regarded takes its origin from a 
pretty belief that they undertake the delicate office of 
covering the dead bodies of any of the human race with 
moss or leaves, if by any means left exposed to the 
heavens* This opinion is alluded to by Shakespeare 
and many writers of his time, as by Drayton, for 
example : 

Cov'rin^ with moss the dead's unclosed ey^ 
The little red-breast teacheth charitie. 

Webster, in his tragedy of Vittoria Corombona, 1612, 
couples the wren with the robin as coadjutors in this 
friendly office : 

Gall for the robin red-breast and the wren. 
Since o'er shady groves they hover. 
And with leaves and flowers do cover 
The friendless bodies of onburied men. 

Notwithstanding the beautiful passage in Shakespeare 
to which we have alluded, it is nevertheless undeniable 
that, even to this day, the ancient belief attached to 
these birds is perpetuated chiefly by the simple ballad 
of the Babes in the Wood. Early in the last century, 
Addison was infatuated with that primitive song. " Ad- 
mitting," he says, " there is even a despicable simplicity 
in the verse, yet because the sentiments appear genuine 



NATUBE-SONGS. 163 

• 

and uDaffected, they are able to move the miDd of the 
most polite reader with inward meltings of humanity 
and compassion." Exactly so ; but this result arises 
from the extraordinary influence of early association 
over the mind, not from the pathos of the ballad itself, 
which is infinitely inferior to the following beautiful 
little nursery song I have the pleasure of transcribing 
into these pages : 

My dear, do jovl know 
How a long time ago, 

Two poor Uttle cnildren. 
Whose names I don't know. 
Were stolen away 
On a fine summer*s day. 

And left in a wood, 
As Fye heard people say. 

And when it was night. 
So sad was their p&ht. 

The sun it went clown, 
And the moon ^ve no li^ht ! 
Thev sohb'd ana they sign'd. 
Ana they bitterly cned, 

And tlie poor little things. 
They laid down and died. 

And when they were dead. 
The robins so red 

Bronght strawberry leaves. 
And over them spread ; 
And all the day long. 
They sang them this song,»- 
Foor babes in the wood ! 
Poor babes in the wood ! 

And don't you remember 
The babes in the wood P 

Adages respecting the robin and the wren, generally 
mduding the martin and swallow, are common in aU 
parts of the country. In giving the following, it should 
be premised it is a popular notion that the wren is the 



164 NATUEE-SONGS. 

wife of the robin; and Mr. Chambers mentions an 
extraordinary addition to this belief current iu Scotland, 
that the wren is the paramour of the tom-tit ! 

The robin red-breast and the wren 
Are God Almighty's cock and hen ;* 
The martin and the swallow 
Are the two next birds that follow. 

The next was obtained from Essex : 

A robin and a titter-wren 

Are God Almighty's cock and hen ; 

A martin and a swallow 

Are God Ahnighty's shirt and collar ! 

And the following from Warwickshire : 

The robin and the wren 

Are God Almighty's cock and hen ; 

The martin and the swallow 

Are God Almighty's bow and arrow If 

The latter part of this stanza is thus occasionally 
varied: 

The martin and the swallow 

Are God Almighty's birds to hollow ; 

where the word hollow is most probably a corruption of 
the verb hallow, to keep holy.^ If this conjectore be 
correct, it exhibits the antiquity of the rhyme. 

Nor let it be thought there is any impiety in giving 
these verses in the form in which they are chenshed, 
for the humble recorders of them dream of no ir- 
reverence. On the contrary, the sanctification of these 
harmless birds is no unpoetical or objectionable frag- 

* The wren was also called our Ladjf*9 hen. See CotgraTe^ in ▼. B«rdut. 
t In Cheshire^ the last line is, ** Are God's mate and marrow," mamu 
being a provincial term fur a companion. See Wilbraham's Chesh. Gloo* 
p. lOfi. 

X Parker, in his poem of the Nightingale, published in 1632, speskiof 
of swallows, says : 

And if in any's hand she chance to dye, 
'Tis counted ominous, 1 know not why. 



NATURE-SONGS. 165 

ment of the old popular mythology ; and when we 
reflect that not even a sparrow "is forgotten before 
God," can we blame a persuasion which protects more 
innocent members of the feathered tribes from the 
intrusion of the wanton destroyer ? 

It is exceedingly unlucky to molest the nests of any 
of these birds. This belief is very prevalent, and it 
was acted upon in a case which came under my obser- 
vation, where, misfortune having twice followed the 
destruction of a swallow's nest, the birds were after- 
wards freely permitted to enjoy the corner of a portico, 
where their works were certainly not very ornamental. 
The following verses were obtained from Essex : 

The robin and the red-breast. 

The robin and the wren ; 
If ye take out o' their nest, 

xe'll never thrive agen ! 

The robin and the red-breast. 

The martin and the swallow ; 
If ye touch one o' their eggs, 

ibad luck will surely follow ! 

The Irish call the wren the king of birds ; and they 
have a story that, when the birds wanted to choose a 
king, they determined that the one which could fly 
highest should have the crown. The wren, being small, 
very cunningly hid itself under the wing of the eagle ; 
and when that bird could fly no higher, the wren 
slipped from its hiding-place, and easily gained the 
victory. In Cotgrave's Dictionarie, 1632, we find the 
wren called raitelet, and in another dictionary, quoted 
by Mr. Wright, it is called roi des oiseaux^ so it is 
probable a similar superstition prevailed in France. 
The ceremony of hunting of the wren on St. Stephen's 
day has been so frequently described, that it is not 
necessary to do more than allude to it, and to mention 
that Mr. Crofton Croker possesses a proclamation lately 
issued by the mayor of Cork, forbidding the custom. 



166 NATURE-SONGS. 

with the intent ** to prevent cruelty to animals/' as the 
document is headed. This custom was also preyalent 
in France. An analogous ceremony is still obserred in 
Pembrokeshire on Twelfth-day, where it is customarj 
to carry about a wren, termed the king^ inclosed in a 
box with glass windows, surmounted by a wheel, from 
which are appended various coloured ribands. It is 
attended by men and boys, who visit the farm-houses, 
and sing a song, the following fragments of which are 
all that have come under my observation : 

For we are come here 
To taste your good cheer. 
And the King is well dressed 
In silks of the best. 

He is from a cottager's stall. 
To a fine gilded haQ. 

The poor bird often dies under the ceremony, which 
tradition connects with the death of an ancient Bridsh 
king at the time of the Saxon invasion. The rhyme 
used in Ireland runs thus : 

The wren, the wreu, the king of all birds, 
Was caught St. Stephen's day in the furze ; 
Although he's little his family's great. 
Then pray, gentlefolks, give him a treat. 

THE OWL. 

To-whoo— to- whoo ! 
Cold toe — ^toe! 

expresses the hooting of the owl. This bird, accordiug 
to old ballads and legends, was of exalted parentage. A 
rural ballad, cited in Waterton*s Essays on Natural His- 
tory, 1838, p. 8, says : 

Once I was a monarch's daughter. 

And sat on a lady's knee ; 
But am now a nightly rover. 

Banished to the ivy tree. 



J 



NATUBE-SONOS. 167 

Crying hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, 
Hoo, hoo, hoo, my feet are cold. 

Pilr me, for here you see me 
rersecuted, poor, and old. 

An anoDymous writer, in the Gentleman's Magazine, 
Yol. IxziT. p. 1003, mentions an old fairy tale respect- 
ing the owl, which, he says, is well known to the nurses 
of Herefordshire. A certain fiedry, disguised as an old 
distressed woman, went to a baker's shop, and begged 
some dough of his daughter, of whom she obtained a 
very small piece. This she farther requested leave to 
bake in the oven, where it swelling to the size of a large 
loaf, the baker's daughter refused to let her have it. 
She, however, gave the pretended beggar another piece 
of dough, but still smaller than the first ; this swelled in 
the oven even more than the other, and was in like 
manner retained. A third and still smaller piece of 
dough came out of the oven the largest of all, and 
shared the same fate. The disguised fairy, convinced 
of the woman's covetousness by these repeated experi- 
ments, no longer restrained her indignation. She re- 
sumed her proper form, and struck the culprit with her 
wand, who immediately flew out of the window in the 
shape of an owl. This story may be a version of the 
legend alluded to by Ophelia in Hamlet, iv. 5 : '' They 
say the owl was a baker's daughter. Lord, we know 
what we are, but know not what we may be." 



MAGPIES. 

Wide-spread is the superstition that it is unlucky to 
see magpies under certain conditions, but these vary 
considerably in different localities. Thus, in some 
counties, two bring sorrow, in others joy ; while, in 
some places, we are instructed that one magpie is a 
signal of misfortune, which can, however, be obviated 
by pulling off yoiur hat, and middng a very polite bow 



168 NATUEE-SONGS. 

to the knowing bird. This operation I have more than 
once seen quite serioasly performed. In Lancaahiie 
they say : 

One for anger. 
Two for mirth. 
Three for a weddings 
Four for a birth. 
Five for rich. 
Six for poor. 
Seven for a witch, 
I can tell you no more. 

But in Tim Bobbin it is expressly said that two are in- 
dicative of ill fortune : " I saigh two rott'n pynots, 
hongum, that wur a sign o' bad fashin ; for I heard my 
gronny say hoode os leef o seen two owd harries os two 

Synots.'' The same belief obtains in Scotland. In the 
forth they thus address the bird : 

Magpie, magpie, chatter and flee, 
Turn up thy tail, and good luck fall me. 

The half-nest of the magpie is accounted for by a 
rural ornithological legend. Once on a time, when 
the world was very young, the magpie, by some accident 
or another, although she was quite as cunning as she is 
at present, was the only bird that was unable to bnild 
a nest. In this perplexity, she applied to the other mem- 
bers of the feathered race, who kindly undertook to in- 
struct her. So, on a day appointed, they assembled for 
that purpose, and, the materials having been collected, 
the blackbird said, '* Place that stick there," suiting the 
action to the word, as she commenced the work. ''Ah!" 
said the magpie, '' I knew that afore." The other birds 
followed with their suggestions, but to every piece of 
advice, the magpie kept saying, '' Ah ! I knew that 
afore." At lengthj when the birdal habitation was half- 
finished, the patience of the company was fairly ex- 
hausted by the pertinacious conceit of the pye, so thej 



NATURE-SONGS. 169 

all left her iivith the united excIamatioD^ " Well, Mistress 
Mag, as you seem to know all about it, you may e'en 
finish the nest yourself." Their resolution was obdu- 
rate and final, and to this day the magpie exhibits the 
effects of partial instruction by her miserably incom- 
plete abode. 

The magpie is always called Madge, and the Christian 
names given to birds deserve a notice. Thus we have 
Jack Snipe, Jenny Wren, Jack Daw, Tom Tit, Ro- 
bin Bedbreast, PoU Parrot, Jill Hooter, Jack Curlew, 
Jack Nicker, and King Harry for the goldfinch, and 
the list might be widely extended. Astarhngis always 
Jacob, a sparrow is Philip, a raven is Ralph, and the 
consort of the Tom Tit rejoices in the euphonic name of 
Betty ! Children give the name of Dick to all small 
birds, which, in nursery parlance, are universally Dicky- 
birds. 



WHO kill'd cock robin. 



Who kiU'd Cock Robin ? 

I, said the sparrow. 

With my bow and arrow, 
1 killM Cock Robin. 

Who see him. die ? 

I, said the fly. 

With my little eye. 
And I see him die. 

Who catch'd his blood P 

I, said the fish, 

With my little dish, 
And I catch'd his blood. 

Who made his shroud ? 

I, said the beadle. 

With my little needle, 
And I made his shrond. 

15 



170 ^ATUBE-SONOS. 

Wlio shall dig his grave P 

I, said the owl. 

With my spade and showl,* 
And m dig his grare. 

Who'll be the parson ? 
I, said the rook. 
With my little book, 

And m be the parson. 

Who'll be the clerk P 
I, said the lark. 
If 'tis not in the dark. 

And I'll be the clerk. 

Who'll cany him to the grave P 
I, said the kite. 
If 'tis not in the niffht. 

And I'll carry him to nis grave. 

Who'll carry the link P 
I, said the linnet, 
rU fetch it in a minute. 

And I'll carry the link. 

Who'll be chief moumerP 
I, said the dove, 
I monm for my love. 

And I'll be chief monmer. 

Who'll bear the pall? 
We, said the wren. 
Both the cock and the hen. 

And we'll bear the pall. 

Who'll sing a psahn P 
I, said the tnrosh. 
As she sat in a bush. 

And I'll sing a psalm. 

And who'll toU the beU ? 
I) said the bull. 
Because I can pull ; 

And so. Cock Eooin, farewell ! 

* Shovel. An archaism. 



NATURE-SONGS. 171 

All tlie birds in the air 

Fell to sighing and sobbing, 

When they heard the bell toU 
Eor poor Cock Robin ! 

The above version of this widely-extended poem is 
taken from a copy printed many years ago in Aldermary 
Churchyard, entitled, ** Cock Robin, a pretty gilded toy 
for either girl or boy, suited to children of all ages,'' 
18mo. It is reprinted even at the present day with a 
few immaterial variations. 

In Eccardi Historia Studii Etj/mologici, 8vo. Han. 
171 1, p. 269, is an old Wendic nursery ballad of a some- 
what similar character. Perhaps the first verse will be 
sufficient to give the reader an idea of its composition. 

Katy mes Ninka beyt P 
Teelka mes Ninka beyt : 
Teelka ritzi 

Wapakka neimo ka dwemo : 
Gos ^ss wiltge grisna Sena, 
Nemik Ninka beyt ; 
Gros nemik Ninka beyt. 

Who, who, the bride will be ? 
The owl she the bride shall be. 

The owl quoth. 

Again to them both, 
I am sure a ^m ladye ; 
Not I the bride can be, 
I not the bride can be ! 

CROv\rs. 

In Essex they have a rhyme respecting crows very 
similar to that above quoted regarding magpies. The 
following lines are said to be true, if crows fly towards 

you : One's unlucky. 

Two's lucky ; 
Three is health, 
Four is wealth ; 
Pive is sickness. 
And six is death ! 



172 NATUBE-SONGS. 

PIGEONS. 

Pigeons never do know woe, 
Tifi they do a benting go. 

This means that pigeons are never short of food except 
when they are obliged to live on the seeds of the grass, 
which ripen before the crops of grain. The seed-stalk 
of grass is called the bent, and hence the term benting. 

LAPWING AND RINGDOVE. 

The common people in the North Biding of Yorkshire, 
says Brockett, ii. 7I9 believe that at one period the 
cushat, or ringdove, laid its eggs upon the ground, and 
that the peewit, or lapwing, made its nest on high ; bat 
that some time or other, an amicable arrangement took 
place between these birds, exchanging their locaUties for 
building. The peewit accordingly expresses its disap- 
pointment at the bargain as follows : 

Pee-wit, pee-wit, 

I coup'd my nest and I me it. 

While the cushat rejoices that she is out of the reach 
of mischievous boys, — 

Coo, coo, come now. 
Little lad 
With thy gad, 
Come not thou ! 

THE WOOD-PIGEON. 

An Isle of Wight legend respecting this bird tells 
us that, soon after the creation of the world, all the 
birds were assembled for the purpose of learning to build 
their nests, and the magpie, being very sagacious and 
cunning, was chosen to teach them. Those birds that 
were most industrious, such as the wren and the long- 
tailed- capon, or pie-finch, he instructed to make whole 
nests in the shape of a cocoa-nut, with a small hole on 



NATUKE-SONGS. 173 

one side ; others, not so diligent, he taught to make 
half-nests, shaped something like a teacup. Having 
thus instructed a great variety of hirds according to 
their capacity, it came to the turn of the wood-pigeon, 
who, being a careless and lazy bird, was very indifferent 
about the matter, and while the magpie was directing 
him how to place the little twigs, &c., he kept exclaim- 
ing, " What, athurt and across ! what zoo ! what zoo 1 — 
athurt and across! what zoo! what zoo!" At length the 
magpie was so irritated with his stupidity and indolence, 
that he flew away, and the wood-pigeon, having had no 
more instruction, to this day builds the worst nest of 
any of the feathered tribe, consisting merely of layers 
of cross-twigs. 

Montagu gives a Suffolk version of the tale, which 
differs considerably from the above. "The magpie, 
it is said, once undertook to teach the pigeon how to 
build a more substantial and commodious dwelling ; but, 
instead of being a docile pupil, the pigeon kept on her 
old cry of * Tiie two, Taffy ! take two !' The magpie 
insisted that this was a very unworkmanlike manner of 
proceeding, one stick at a time being as much as could 
be managed to advantage ; but the pigeon reiterated her 
* two, take two,' till Mag, in a violent passion, gave up 
the task, exclaiming, ' I say that one at a time's enough ; 
and, if you think otherwise, you may set about the 
work yourself, for I will have no more to do with it !' 
Since that time, the wood-pigeon has built her slight 
platform of sticks, which certainly suffers much in com- 
parison with the strong substantial structure of the 
magpie." The cooing of the wood-pigeon produces, it 
is said — 

Take two-o coo, TaSj ! 

Take two-o coo, TafPy ! 

Alluding, says Mr. Chambers, to a story of a Welshman, 
who thus interpreted the note, and acted upon the re- 
commendation by stealing two of his neighbour's cows. 

15 § 



174 NATURB-SONGS. 



DOMESTIC POULTRY. 



The clucking conversation of poultry, the cackling 
of the hen, and the replying chuckle of the cock, is re- 
presented by the following dialogue : 

Hen, Cock, cock, I have la-a-a-yed! 
Cock. Hen, hen, that's well sa-a-a-yed! 
Hen, Although I have to go barefooted everv da-a-y! 
Cock (con spirito). Sell your eggs, and buy snoes. 
Sell your eggs, and buy shoes! 

Mr. Chambers, p. 167, has given a very different version 
of this current in Scotland. In Galloway, the hen's 
song is : 

The cock gaed to Eome, seeking shoon, seeking shoon, 
The cock gaed to Rome, seeking shoon. 
And yet I aye gang barefit, barefit! 

The following proverb is current in the North of 
England : 

If the cock moult before the hen. 
We shall have weather thick and thin ; 
But if the hen moult before the cock. 
We shall have weather hard as a block. 

DRAGON-FLIES. 

In some parts of the Isle of Wight, these insects are 
found of a peculiarly large size, and their colours are 
extremely beautiful. There is an old legend respecting 
them which is still current. It is supposed by the 
country people that their sting or bite is venomous, as 
bad as that of a snake or adder, and perhaps from this 
belief their provincial name of snake-stanger or snake- 
stang is derived. It is said that these insects can dis- 
tinguish the good children from the bad when they go 
fishing : if the latter go too near the water, they are 
almost sure to be bitten ; but when the good boys go, 
the dragon-flies point out the places where the fish are, 



NATURE-SONGS. I/O 

by settling on the banks, or flags, in the proper direc- 
tion. This curious myth is commemorated by the 
following song : 

Snakestanger! snakestanger ! ylee aal about the brooks ; 
Stin^ aal the bad bwoys that vor the vish looks, 
Butlat the good bwoys ketch aal the vish they can. 
And car'm awaay whooam* to vry'em in a pan; 
Bred and batter they shall yeat at zupper wi' their vish. 
While aal the Uttul bad bwoys shall omy Uck the dish. 

This has of late years been introduced into the 
nursery, but in diflerent suit of clothes : 

Dragon fly! dragon fly! fly about the brook; 

Stin^ all the baa boys who for the fish look ; 

But let the eood boys catch all that they can, 

And then taxe them home to be fried in a pan ; 

With nice bread and butter they shall sup upon their fish, 

While all the httle naughty boys shall only hck the dish. 

THE SNAIL. 

In Yorkshire, in evenings when the dew falls heavily, 
the boys hunt the large black snails, and sing : 

Snail, snail ! put out your horn. 

Or I'll kill your father and mother i' th* mom. 

Another version runs thus : 

Snail, snail, put out your horns, 
ril give you bread and barleycorns. 

And sometimes the following song is shouted on this 
occasion : 

Sneel, snaul. 

Bobbers are coming to pull down your wall. 

Sneel, snaul. 

Put out your horn, 

Hobbers are coming to steal your com, 

Coming at four o'clock in the mom. 

The version generally heard in the southern counties 

• Carry them away home. 



176 NATURE-SONGS. 

differs very considerably from the above, and the original 
use and meaning are very seldom practised or understood : 

Snail, snail, come out of your hole. 
Or else I'll beat you as black as a coal. 

Mr. Chambers, p. 171, gives some very interestmg 
observations on these lines. '^ In England," he says, 
" the snail scoops out hollows. Utile rotund chambers, 
in hmestone, for its residence. This habit of the ani- 
mal is so important in its effects, as to have attracted the 
attention of geologists ; one of the most distinguished of 
whom (Dr. Buckland) alluded to it at the meeting of the 
British Association at Plymouth, in 1841." The above 
rhyme is a boy's invocation to the snail to come out of 
such holes or any other places of retreat resorted to by 
it. Mr. Chambers also informs us that, in some dis- 
tricts of Scotland, it is supposed that it is an indication 
of good weather if the snail obeys the injunction of put- 
ting out its horn : 

Snailie, snailie, shoot out your horn. 

And tell us if it will be a bonnie day the mom. 

It appears from Gay's Shepherd's Week, ed. 1742, 
p. 34, that snails were formerly used in rural love-divi- 
nations. It was the custom* to place the little animal 
on the soft ashes, and to form an opinion respecting the 
initial of the name of a future lover by the fancied letter 
made by the crawling of the snail on the ashes : 

Last May-day fair I search'd to find a snail. 
That might mv secret lover's name reveal ; 
Upon a gooseberry bush a snail I found. 
For always snails near sweetest fruit abound. 
I seiz'd the vermin, home I quickly sped. 
And on the hearth the milk-white embers spread. 
Slow crawl'd the snail, and if I right can spell. 
In the soft ashes mark'd a curious L ; 
Oh, maj this wondrous omen lucky prove. 
For L IS found in Lubberkin and Love ! 

* A similar practice is common in Ireland. See Croker's Fairy Legendt, 
i. 215. 



NATTJKE-SONGS. 177 

Verses on the snail, similar to those given above, are 
carrent over many parts of Europe. In Denmark, the 
children say (Thiele, iii. 138) — 

Snegl ! snegl ! kom herud ! 

Her er en Mand, som vil kjobe dit Huus, 

For en Skjaeppe Penge! 

Snail ! snail ! come out here ! 
Here is a man thy house will buy, 
For a measure of white money. 

A similar idea is preserved in Germany, the children 
saying (Das Knaben Wunderhorn, iii. 81) — 

Elosterfrau im Schneckenliaussle, 
Sie meint, sie sey verborgen. 
Kommt der Pater Guardian, 
Wiinscht ihr guten Morgen ! 

Cloister-dame, in house of shell, 
Ye think ye are hidden well. 
Father Guardian will come. 
And wish you good morning. 

The following lines are given by M. Kuhn, Gebrauche 
und Aberglauben, 398, as current in Stendal : 

Schneckhus, peckhfts, 
Stak du din ver homer rut, 
Siist schmit ick di in'n griven, 
Da fret en di de raven. 



APPLES. 

Children in the North of England, when they eat 
apples, or similar fruit, delight in throwing away the 
pippin, exclaiming — 

Pippin, pippin, fly away. 
Get me one another day ! , 



178 NATURE-SONGS. 



THE WALNtJT-TREE. 



There is a common persnasion amongst country peo^ 
pie that whipping a walnut-tree tends to increase the 
produce, and improve the flavour of the fruit. This 
helief is embodied in the following distich : 

A woman, a spaniel, and a wakiut-tree, 
The more you whip them the better they be. 

And also in this quatrain : 

Three things by beating better prove, 

A nut, an ass, a woman ; 
The cudgel from their back remove. 

And they'll be good for no man. 

THE ASH. 

Bum ash-wood green, 
'Tis a fire for a queen : 
Bum ash-wood sear, 
'Twill make a man swear. 

Ash, when green, makes good fire-wood, and, con- 
trary perhaps to all other sorts of wood, is bad for that 
purpose when «ear, or dry, withered. The old Anglo- 
Saxon term sear is well illustrated by this homely 
proverb. The reader will remember Macbeth : 

I have Hved long enough : 
My way of Hfe is fallen into the sear and yellow leaf. 

PEAS. 

Children get the pods of a pea, and flinging them at 
efich other, cry 

Pea-pod bucks. 

Twenty for a pin; 
If you don't like them, 

I'll take them agin. 

The hucks are the shells or pods, Imd agin the pro- 
vincial pronunciation of again. 



NATUBE-S0N6S. 179 



PIHPERNELL. 



No heart can think, no tongue can tell. 
The virtues of the pimpemell. 

Gerard enumerates seyeral complaints for which this 
plant was considered useful, and he adds, that country 
people prognosticated fine or had weather hy ohserving 
in Uie morning whether its flowers wer^ spread out or 
shut up. — Herbal, first ed. p. 494. According to a 
MS. on magic, preserved in the Chetham Library at 
Manchester^ *' the herb pimpemell is good to prevent 
witchcraft, as Mother Bumby doth affirme ;" and the 
following lines must be used when it is gathered : 

Herbe pimpemell, I have thee found 

Growing upon Christ Jesus' ground : 

The same gmft the Lord Jesus gave unto thee. 

When he shed his blood on the tree. 

Arise up, pimpemell, and goe with me, 

And God blesse me. 

And aU that shall were thee. Amen. 

" Say this fifteen dayes together, twice a day, morn- 
ing earlye fasting, and in the evening full." MS. ibid. 

MARUM. 

If you set it. 

The cats will eat it; 

If you sow it, 

The cats will know it. 

bird-shooer's song. 

Awa', birds, awa'. 
Take a peck 
And leave a seek. 
And come no more to day ! 

This is the universal bird-shooer's song in the midland 
counties. 



180 NATUBE-80NGS. 

THE GNAT. 

In the eastern counties of England, and perhaps in 
other parts of the country, children chant the foUoving 
lines when they are pursuing this insect: 



Gnat, gnat, fly into my hat^ 
And ril mve you a shoe of 



give you a shoe of bacon ! 



THE TROUT. 



In Herefordshire the alder is called the aulf and the 
country people use the following proverbial lines : 

When the bud of the aul is as big as the trout's eye, 
Then that fish is in season in the river Wye. 



TOBACCO. 

Tobacco hie. 

Will make you well 

If you be sick. 

Tobacco was formerly held in great esteem as a 
medicine. Sickness was the old term for illness of any 
kind, and is no doubt the more correct expression. 

It may just be worth a passing notice to obserTe, 
that ShaJcespeare never mentions tobacco, nor alludes 
to it even indirectly. What a brilliant subject for a 
critic ! A treatise might be written to prove from this 
circumstance that the great poet was not in the habit 
of smoking ; or, on the contrary, that he was so great 
an admirer of the pernicious weed, that, being unable 
to allnde to it without a panegyric, he very wisely 
eschewed the subject for fear of giving offence to his 
royal master, the author of the 'Counterblast.' The 
discussion, at all events, would be productive of 
as much utility as the disputes which have occasioned 
so many learned letters respecting the orthography of 
the poet's name. 



PKOYEBB-BHTMES. 181 



JACK-A-DANDY. 



Boys haye a very curious saying respecting the re- 
flection of the sun*8 heams from the surface of water 
upon a ceiling, which they call '' Jack-a-dandy beating 
his wife with a stick of silver." If a mischievous boy 
with a bit of looking-glass, or similar material, threw 
the reflection into the eye of a neighbour, the latter 
would complain^ "He's throwing Jack-a-dandy in my 
eyes." 



VII.— PROVERB-RHYMES. 

Metrical proverbs are so numerous, that a large 
volume might be filled with them without much dif- 
ficulty; and it is, therefore, unnecessary to say that 
nothing beyond a very small selection is here attempted. 
We may refer the curious reader to the collections of 
Howell, Ray, and Denham, the last of which chiefly 
relates to natural objects and the weather, for other 
examples; but the subject is so di£fuse, that these 
writers have gone a very short way towards the com- 
pilation of a complete series. 

Give a thing and take again. 
And you skill ride in h^'s wain'! 

Said by children when one wishes a gift to be returned, 
a system naturally much disliked. So says Plato, rwy 
opOws badtvTtiv af^aipeais ovk etri. Ray, p. 113, ed. 1768. 
Ben Jonson appears to allude to this proverb in the 
Sad Shepherd, where Maudlin says — "Do you give a 
thing and >ake a thing, madam ?" Cotgrave, Dic- 

16 



182 PEOYSBB-BHTMES. 

tionarie of the French and English Tongaes, 1632, in v. 
Retirevy mentions " a triviall proTcrb :'* 

Give a thing, 

And take a thing, 

To weare the divelFs gold-ring. 

And it is alluded to in a little work entitled Homer a la 
Mode^ a mock poem upon the First and Second Books 
of Homar*s Iliads^ 12nao. Oxford, 1665, p. 34 : 

Frethee for my sake let him have her. 
Because to him the Grsecians ^ve her ; 
To give a thing, and take a tmng. 
You know is the devil's gold-ring ! 

The proverb sometimes runs thus : 

Give a thing, take a thing. 
That's an old man's play-thing. 

" A lee with a hatchet," as they say in the North, i» a 
circumstantial self-evident falsehood, and so runs the 
proverb : 

That's a Ue with a latchet. 

All the dogs in tiie town cannot match it. 

Children say the following when one has been de- 
tected in any misrepresentation of a mischievous cha- 
racter — 

Liar, har, hck spit, 

¥oar tongue shall be sHt, 

And sJl the dogs in the town 

Shall have a Httle bit. 

The following versions of the former rhyme are cur- 
rent in the North of England : 

That's a lee wi' a latchet. 

You may shut the door uod catoh it. 

That's a lee wi' a Ud on, 

And a brass handle to tak houd on. 

In Yorkshire a tellrtale is termed a pleenrpie, and 



PROYERA-SHTMES. 1 83 

there is a proverb current which is very similar to that 
given above: 

A pfeen-pie tit, 
Thj tongae sal be slit. 
An iv^iy dog i' th' town 
Sal hey a bit. 

Left and right 
Brings good at night. 

When your right eye itches, it is a sign of good luck ; 
when the left, a sign of bad luck. When both itch, 
the above distich expresses the popular belief. 

He ffot out of the muxy, 
Anafell into the pucksy. 

A muxy is a dunghill^ and the pucksy a quagmire. This 
is a variation of the old saying of falling out of the 
dripping-pan into the fire : 

Incidit in Scyllam cn^ens vitare Charybdim. 

Those that made me were uncivil. 
For they made me harder than the devil ! 
Knives won't cut me, fire won't sweat me. 
Dogs bark at me, but can't eat me! 

These proverbial lines are supposed to be spoken by 
Sufiblk cheese, which is so hard that a myth tells us 
gate-pegs in that county are made with it. The pro- 
verb has been long true, and Pepys, writing in 1661, 
says: '*l found my wife vexed at her people for 
grumbling to eate Sufiblk cheese, which I also am 
vexed at." 

^eak of a penon and he wiU appear, 
Tnen talk of the dnle, and he'll draw near. 

Said of a person who makes his appearance unexpect- 
edly, when he is spoken of. 



184 VBOYEBB-BHTHES. 

When faster Ms in our Lad/s-lap, 
Then let England beware a rap. 

That IB, when Easter falls on Lady-day, March 25» 
which happens when the Sunday Letter is G, and the 
Golden Number 5, 13, or 16. See Aubrey's Miscellanies^ 
ed. 1696, p. 21. 

In July 

Some reap rye. 

In August, 

If one won't, the other must. 

From Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, given in Hone's 
Year-Book, col. 1595. 

In March 

The birds begin to search;. 

In April 

The com begins to fill; 

In May 

The birds begin to lay.- 

From Lancashire. This resembles in its character the 
cuckoo song we haye given at p. 160. 

Friday night's dream 

On the Saturday told» 
Is sure to come true. 

Be it never so old. 

When it gangs up i' sops. 
It'll fau down i' orops. 

A North country proverb, the sops being the small de* 
tached clouds hanging on the sides of a mountain* 
Carr, ii. 147. 

To-morrow come never. 

When two Sundays come together. 

This is sometimes addressed to one who promises some- 
thing " to-morrow," but who is often in the habit of 
malang similar engagements, and not remembering them. 



PftOT£liB-RH7M£S. 185 



TIT FOR TAT. 

Th« proverb of Utfw tat may perhaps be said to be 
going out of fashion, but it is still a universal favorite 
with children. When any one is ill-natured, and the 
sufferer wishes to hint his intention of retaliating at the 
first convenient opportunity, he cries out— 

Tit for tat, 

If you kill my dog, 

111 Ml yoinr cat. 

LAZY LAW&ENCB. 

Lazy Lawrence, let me go. 

Don't me hold summer and winter too. 

This distich is said by a boy who feels very lacy, yet 
wishes to exert himself. Lazy Lawrence is a proverbial 
expression for an idle person, and I possess an old chap- 
book, entitled '' the History of Lawrence Lazy, contain- 
ing his birth and slothful breeding ; how he served the 
schoolmaster, his wife, the squire's cook, and the farmer, 
which, by the laws of Lubberland, was accounted high 
treason." A West country proverb, relating to a chs- 
ciple of this hero, runs thus : 

Slnffgardy guise, 
Lotn to go to bed, 
And loth to rise. 

March will search^ April will try. 
May wiQ tell ye if ye^ live or die. 

Sow in the sop, 
'Twill be heavy a-top. 

That is, land in a soppy or wet state is in a favorable 
condition for receiving seed; a statement, however, 
somewhat questionable. 

16 § 



1 86 PEOyEBB-KHYMES. 

A cat may look at a king. 

And surely I may look at an ugly thing. 

Said in derisionl)y one child to another, who comj^aos 
of being stared at. 

He that hath it and will not keep it, 
He that wanteth it and will not seek it; 
He that drinketh and is not dry. 
Shall want money as well as I. 

From Howell's English Proverbs, 1659, p. 21. 

Grajr's Inn for walks, 

Lincoln's Inn for a wall ; 
The Inner-Temple for a garden. 

And the Middle for a hall. 

A proverb, no doubt, trae in former times, bnt now only 
partially correct. 

In time of prosperity friends will be plenty. 
In time of adversity not one amongst twenty. 

From Howell's English Proverbs, p. 20. The expres- 
sion not one amongst twenty is a generic one for not one 
out of a large number. It occurs in Shakespeare's 
Much Ado About Nothing, v. 2. 

Trim tram. 

Like master like man. 

From an old manuscript political treatise, dated 1652, 
entitled a Cat may look at a King. 

Beer a bumble, 

'Twill kill you 

Afore 'twill make ye tumble. 

A proverbial phrase applied to very small beer, imply- 
ing that no quantity of it will cause intoxication. 



PBOYEEB-BHYHES. 187 

Lancashire law, 
No stakes, no draw ! 

A saying by which a person, who has lost a verbal 
wager, avoids payment on the plea of no stakes having 
been deposited. 

As foolish as monkevs till twenty and more. 
As bold as a lion till fortv-and-four ; 
As cunning as foxes till tnree score and ten. 
We then become asses, and are no more men. 

These proverbial lines were obtained from Lancashire. 
An early version occurs in Tusser, p. 199. 

Th^ that wash on Monday 

Have a whole week to irj ; 
They that wash on Tuesday 

^e not so much ae;ye; 
They that wash on "Wednesday 

May get their clothes clean; 
They tbAt wash on Thursday 

Are not so much to mean ; 
They that wash on Eriday 

W ash for their need ; . 
But thev that wash on Saturday 

Are clarty-paps indeed! 

A North country version of these common proverbial 
lines, given by Mr. Denham, p. 16. Clarty-papa are 
dirty sluts. 

The children of Holland 

Take pleasure in making 
What the children of Enijumd 

Take pleasure in breakmg. 

Alluding to toys, a great number of which are imported 
into this country from Holland. 



188 



VIII.— PLACES AND FAMILIES. 

This diyision, like the last, might be greatly extended 
by references to Ray and Grose. 



ELTON. 

The following lines are still remembered by the mem- 
bers of the Elton family : 

Upon Sir Abraham Elt being hntffhted, and taking the 

name of Elton. 

In days of yore old Abraham EU;, 
When Kving, had nor sword nor belt ; 
But now his son. Sir Abraham Elton, 
Being knighted, has both sword and belt on. 

MS. HarL Brit. Mns. 7318, p. 206. 

NOEL. 

N. for a word of demance, 
E. with a figure of L. fiftie, 
SpeUeth his name that never 
WiU be thriffcie. 

MS. SSioane 2497> of the sixteenth eentnij. 



COLIilKGinrOOD. 

The Ck)llingwoods have borne the name, 
Since in the bush the back was ta'en ; 
But when the bosh shall hold the buck. 
Then welcome faith, and farewell luck. 

Alluding to the CoUingwood crest of a stag beneath an 
oak tree. 



PLACES AND FAMILIES. 189 

THE CAULD LAD OF HILTON. 

This fairy or goblin was seldom seen, but his gambols 
were heard nightly in the hall of the great house. He 
oyerturned everything in the kitchen after the servants 
had gone to bed, and was, in short, one of the most 
mischievous sprites you could imagine. One nighty 
however, the kitchen happened to be left in great con- 
fusion, and the goblin, who did everything by contraries, 
set it completely to rights ; and the next morning it 
was in perfect apple-pie order. We may be quite sure 
that, after this occurrence, the kitchen was not again 
made orderly by the servants. 

Notwithstanding, however, the service thus nightly 
rendered by the Cauld Lad, the servants did not like it. 
They preferred to do their own work without preter- 
natur^ agency, and accordingly resolved to do their 
best to drive him from their haunts. The goblin soon 
understood what was going on, and he was heard in the 
dead of night to warble the following lines in a melan- 
choly strain : 

Wae's me ! wae's me ! 
The acorn is not yet 
Palien from the tree. 
That's to grow the wood. 
That's to make the cradle. 
That's to rock the bairn, 
Thafs to grow to a man. 
That's to lay me. 

He was, however, deceived in this prediction; for 
one night, being colder than usual, he complained in 
moving verse of his condition. Accordingly, on the 
following evening, a cloak and hood were placed for 
him near the fire. The servants had unconsciously 
accomplished their deliverance, for present gifts to 
fairies, and the; for ever disappear. On the next 



190 FLAGB8 AND fA.J€lhl&S, 

morning the following lines were found inscribed on 
the wall : 

I've taken your cloak^ I've taken your hood; 
The Cauld Lad of Hilton will do no more good ! 

A great jariety of stories in which fairies are fright- 
ened away by presents^ are still to be heard in the ntral 
districts of England. Another narrative, by Mr. 
Longstaffe, relates that on one occasion a woman found 
her washing and ironing regularly performed for her 
every night by the fairies. In gratitude to the "good 
people,'* she placed green mantles for their acceptance, 
and the next night the fairies departed, exclaiming— 

Now the pixies' work is done ! 

We take our clothes, and off we run. 

Mrs. Bray tells a similar story of a Devonshire pixy, 
who helped an old woman to spin. One evening she 
spied the fairy jumping out of her door, and observed 
that it was very raggedly dressed ; so the next day she 
thought to win the services of the elf further by placing 
some smart new clothes, as big as those made for a 
doll, by the side of her wheel. The pixy came, pat on 
the clothes, and clapping its hands with delight, 
vanished, saying these lines : 

Pixy fine, pixv gay. 
Pixy now will run away. 

Fairies always talk in rhyme. Mr. Allies mentions a 
Worcestershire fairy legend which says that, upon one 
occasion, a pixy eame to a ploughman in a fiel^ and 
exclaimed : 

Oh, lend a hammer and a naO, 
Which we want to mend our pail. 



PLACES AND FAMILIES. 191 



FELTON. 

The little priest of Pelton, 

The little priest of Eelton, 

He kill'd a mouse within his house. 

And ne'er a one to help him. 



SIR RALPH ASHTON. 

Sweet Jesu, for thy mercy's sake. 

And for thy bitter passion. 
Save us from the axe of the Tower, 

And from Sir Balph of Ashtou. 

This rhyme is traditionally known in the North of 
England!, and refers, it is said, to Sir Balph Ashton, 
who, in the latter part of the fifteenth century, exer- 
cised great severity as vice-constable. The ancient 
custom of riding the black lad at Ashton-under-Lyne 
on Easter Monday, which consists of carrying an effigy 
on horseback through the town, shooting at it, and 
finally burning it, is alleged to have taken its origin 
from this inoividaal, who, according to tradition, was 
shot as he was riding down the principal street. Ac- 
cording to another story, the custom commemorates 
the valiant actions of Thomas Ashton at the battle of 
Neville's Cross. 

PRESTON. 

Proud Preston, noor people, 
Fine church, ana no steeple. 



LANCASHIRE. 

Little lad, little lad, where wast thou bom ? 
Far off in Lancashire, under a thorn, 
Where they sup sour miLk in a ram's horn. 



192 PLACES ANB FAMILIES. 



LBYLAND. 

A village in Lancashire, not far from Chorley. There 
is, or was sixty years since, a tradition carrent here, to 
the effect that the church, on the night following the 
day in which the building was completed, was removed 
some distance by supernatural agency, and the astonished 
inhabitants, on entering the sacred edifice the foliowiDg 
morning, found the following metrical command written 
on a marble tablet on the wall : 

Here thou shalt be, 
And here thou shalt stand. 

And thou shalt be called 
The church of Ley-land. 

Leyland church stands on an eminence at the east 
side of the village. The ancient tower is stiU standing, 
but the body of the church is modem. 

HD6H OF LINCOLN. 

He tossed the ball so high, so high. 

He tossed the ball so low ; 
He tossed the ball in the Jew's garden. 

And the Jews were all below. 

Oh, then out came the Jew's daughter. 

She was dressed all in green ; 
Gome hither, come hither, my sweet pretty feUotr, 

And fetch your ball again. 

These lines refer to the well-known story of the 
murder of a child at Lincoln by a Jewess. The child 
was playing at ball, and threw it into the Jew's garden. 
She enticed him into the house to recover it, killed him, 
and, to conceal her guilt, threw the body into a deep 
well. According to the ballads on the subject, the 
spirit of the boy answers his mother's inquiry firom the 
bottom of the well, the bells ring without human aid, 
and several miracles are accomplished. The above 



PLACES AND FAMILIES. 193 

fieagment of some old ballad on the subject was ^ven 
me by Miss Agnes Strickland as current in the country 
nursery. 

CUCKSTONE. 

If you would go to a church miswent. 
You must go to Cuckstone in Kent. 

So said because the church is " very unusual in pro- 
portion." Lelandi Itin. ed. 1744, ii. 137. 

SAINT LEVAN. 

When with panniers astride 
A. pack-horse can ride 
Through St. Levan's stone. 
The world wUl be done. 

St. Levan'a stone is a great rock in the churchyard 
of St. Levan, co. Cornwall. 

ROLLRIGHT. 

The "Druidical" stones at RoUright, Oxfordshire, 
are said to have been originally a general and his army 
who were transformed into stones by a magician. The 
tradition runs that there was a prophecy or oracle which 
told the general, — 

If Long Gompton thou canst see,^ 
King of England thou shalt be. 

He was within a few yards of the spot whence that 
town could be obseryed, when his progress was stopped 
by the magician's transformation,— 

Sink down man, and rise up stone ! 
King of England thou shalt be none. 

The general was transformed into a large stone which 
stands on a spot from which Long Compton is not visible, 
but on ascending a slight rise close to it, the town is 

17 



194 PLACES ANB FAHILISS. 

leyealed to view. Roger Gale, writing in 1719, says 
that whoever dared to contradict this storj was regarded 
'' as a most audacious freethinker." It is said that no 
man could ever count these stones, and that a baker 
once attempted it by placing a penny loaf on each of 
them, but somehow or other he failed in counting hi» 
own hread. A similar tale is related of Stonehenge. 

HAMPDEN. 

The following relation is given in the additions to 
Camden's Britannia, co. Bucks, p. 318. Tradition says 
the Black Prince, who held Hartwell, had large posses- 
sions at Prince's Bishoroagh, where they show part of 
a wall of his palace, and a field where his horses were 
turned called Prince's Field, and repeat these hues on a 
supposed quarrel hetween him and one of the family of 
Hampden : 

Hamden of Hamden did foregoe 

The manors of Tring, Wing, and Ivinghoe, 

For striking the Black Prince a blow. 

RIBCHESTER. 

It is written upon a wall in Home 

Eibchester was as rich as any town in Christendom. 

Camden says that Ribchester was famous for its remains 
of ancient art. 

HAWLEY. 

Blow the wind high, blow the wind low, 
It bloweth good to Hawle/s hoe. 

These lines are said to relate to one John Hawley, a 
wealthy merchant of Devon some centuries ago, who 
was fortunate in his shipping. According to Prince, 
p. 477, ''so was the gentleman's habitation in that 
town (Dartmouth) call'd the Hoe or Haw.*' 



|»LAGE8 AND FAMILIES. 195 



GOTHAM. 



Three unse men of Gotham 
Went to sea in a bowl ; 
And if the bowl had been stronger. 
My song would have been longer. 

Honour to whom honour is due ! Mr. Lower will 
have it that Sussex is the county of the Gothamites. 
Gotham is near Pevensey, and many traditionary anec- 
dotes are still current respecting the stupidity of the 
people of that town. On one occasion, the mayor, 
haring receited a letter, was reading it upside down, 
the messenger very respectfully suggested that he would 
sooner arrive at the meaning of its contents by re- 
versing its position. " Hold your tongue, sir,*' replied 
the chief magistrate ; *^ for while I am mayor of Pemsey, 
ril hold the letter which eend uppards I like !" 

BUCKIiAND. 

Buckland and Lavertcm, 
Stanway and Staunton, 
Ghildswickham, Wickamfordj 
Badsey and Aston. 

These are places in Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, and 
Somersetshire. Staunton is pronounced Staum, and 
Aston is commonly called Aton. 

COLEBROOK. 

There were three cooks of Colebrook, 
And they feU out with onr cook ; 
And all was for a pudding he took 
From the three cooks of Colebrook. 

GILLING. 

Tradition informs us, hut leaves us in ignorance as to 
the nature of the offence offered, that once upon a time. 



195 PLACES AND FAMILIES. 

- a long time ago, his satanic majesty took dire displeasuie 
at the good folks of Hartforth, for some naughty trick, 
no doubt played upon him, daring one of his Yisits to 
that locality ; so finding a stone of enormous bulk and 
weight to the south of Gilling, his majesty, in his rage, 
raised the ponderous mass in one hand, and uttering 
this exclamatory couplet, — 

Have at thee, Black Hartforth, 
But have a care o' Bonny Gilling I 

Cast it firom him with all his strength. It would appear 
that the devil's vision is rather of a telescopic character; 
for, as luck would have it, he missed his aim, and the 
stone, which flew whizzing through the air, at last fell 
harmless far beyond the former place ; and now lies, 
bearing the impression of his unholy fingers, on the 
rising ground to the north side of GaUierly Moor.* 

SHREWSBURY. 

The inhabitants of Shropshire, and, it is said, espe- 
cially Shrewsbury, have an unfortunate habit of nus- 
placmg the letter h. It is scarcely necessary to say 
that the failing is by no means peculiar to that county. 
I am unable to vouch for the antiquity of the foUowing 
'lines on the subject, but they have become proverbial, 
and are therefore worth giving : 

The petition of the letter H to the inhabitants of 
Shrewsbury, greeting, — 

Whereas I have by you been driven, 
from house, from home, from hope, from heaven. 
And plac'd by your most leam'd society 
In exile, anguish, and anxiety. 
And used, without one just pretence. 
With arrogance and insolence ; 
I here demand full restitution, 
^^ And beg you'll mend your elocution. 

• Communicated by Mr. M. A. Denham. 



PtiACBS AND FAKII1ZB8. 197 

To this was returned the following answer from the 
Shrewsburians : (So^tyhi^MA} 

Whereas we've rescued you, Ingrate, 

From handcuff, horror, and from hate, 

Prom hell, from horse^pond, and from halter. 

And consecrated you in altar ; 

And placed you, where you ne'er should be. 

In honour and in honesiy | 

We deem your pra/r a rude intrusion. 

And will not mend our docution. 

JACK ROBINSON. 

There are few proverbial expressions more common 
than the sayings " As soon as you can say Jack Robin- 
son/' implying excessive rapidity. I have seen the 
phrase with the name of Dick RobinaoHf but failed to 
take a memorandum of it. It has since occurred to me 
that it may have originated in some way or other with 
the actor of that name mentioned by Ben Jonson. If^ 
however, the following quotation from an " old play," 
given by Carr, be genuine, this conjecture must fall 
to the ground : 

A warke it ys as easie to be doone. 
As 'tys to saye, Jack ! robys on. 

WRAN6HAM. 

Swing'em, swang'em, bells at Wrangham, 
Three dogs in a string, hang'em, hang'em. 

A hit at the Cheshire provincial pronunciation of the n^* 

LEICESTERSHIRE. 

Hij?ham on the hill, 
Stoke in the vale ; 
Wykin for buttermilk, 
. Hinckley for ale. 

17^ 



198^ PLACES AND FAMILIES. 



BROCKLEY-HILL. 

No heart can think, nor tongue can tell. 

What lies between Brockley-hill and Penny-well. 

Brockley-bill lies near Elstree, in Hertfordshire, and 
Penny-Well is the name of a parcel of closes in the 
neighbourhood. See Stukeley's Itin. Cur. 1776,i. 118. 
This distich alludes to the quantity of old coins foond 
near those places. 

STANTON DREW. 

Stanton Drew, 

A mile from Pensford, 

Another from Chue. 

A Somersetshire proverb, mentioned by Stukeley, in the 
work above quoted^ ii. 169. 



SEVERN. 

Blessed is the eye. 

That's between Severn and Wye. 

Ray gives this proverb, but appears to misunderstand 
it, the first line not alluding to the prospect, but to an 
islet or ait in the river, though I have not met with the 
word eye used in this sense. There can, however, be 
no doubt as to its meaning ; probably from A.-S. e4. 

9 

8HERSTON MAGNA. 

The following v^ry curious observations on this town 
are extracted from an anonymous MS. in my possession, 
written forty or fifty years ago. I have never seen the 
lines in print. Aubrey, in his Natural History of Wilt- 
shire, mentions the plant called Danes* 'bloody and de 



PLACES AND FAMILIES. 199 

rives the name from a similar circumstance. Some 
observations on Sherston may be seen in Camden, ed. 
Gough, i. 96. It is Sceor-stdn, where the celebrated 
battle between the Anglo-Saxons and the Danes was 
fought in the year 1016, and prodigies of valour exhibited 
by the combatants. 

" When a schoolboy, I have often traced the intrench- 
ments at Sherston Magna, which are still visible on the 
north side of the town, and particularly in a field near 
the brow of a hill which overlooks a branch of the river 
Avon, which rises a little below Didmarton ; and with 
other boys have gone in quest of a certain plant in the 
field where the battle was said to have been fought, 
which the inhabitants pretended dropt blood when ga- 
thered, and called Danesblood, corruptly no doubt for 
Danewort^ which was supposed to have sprung from 
the blood of the Danes slain in that battle. Among 
other memorials, the statue of a brave warrior, vulgarly 
called Rattlebone, but whose real name I could never 
learn, is still standing upon a pedestal on the east side 
of the church-porch, as I've been lately informed, where 
J saw it above fifty years ago : of whose bravery, almost 
equal to that of Withrington, many fabulous stories are 
told. One, in particular, like some of the Grecian 
fables of old, built upon the resemblance his shield 
bears to the shape of a tile -stone, which he is said to 
have placed over his stomach after it had been ripped 
up in battle, and by that means maintained the field ; 
whilst the following rude verses are said to have been 
repeated by the king by way of encouragement : 

Eight on, Rattlebone, 

And thou shalt have Sherstone ; 

If Sherstone wUl not do, 

Then Easton Grey and Pinkney too." 



200 PLACES AND FAMILIB». 



NORTH ACRE. 

The Lord Dacre 

Was slain in North Acre. 

North Acre is or was the name of the spot where Lard 
Dacre perished at the hatUe of Towton in 1461. He ii 
said to have heen shot hy a boy out of an elder tree. 

BELLABIS.* 

Johnny tnth' Bellas daft was thy poll. 
When thou changed Bellas for KenknolL 

This saying, as given by Sortees, is still remembered 
near Bellasis, and is preferable to Hutchinson's version 
of it from the east window of the north transept of St 
Andrew's Auckland church, where he says, '^ are re- 
mains of an inscription painted on the glass ; the date 
appears 1386 ; beneath the inscription are the arms of 
Bellasys, and in a belt round them the following words; 

Bellysys Belysys dafe was thy sowel. 
When exchanged Belysys for HenknowelL'' 

Collins (followed by Hutchinson), who gives the pro- 
verb as — 

Belasise, Belassis, daft was thynowle, 
When thon gave Bellassis for Henknowle, 

connects it with a grant dated 1380, from John de 
Belasye to the convent of Durham, of his lands in 
Wolveston, in exchange for the Manor of HenknoU. 
But BeUasyse is not even within the Manor of Wolveston, 
and, in fact, the Manor of Beliasye was held by the 
Prior in 1361 ; and we can only account for the pro- 
verb by supposing that, at a former period, BeUasyse 
had been exchanged for lands, but not the manor of 
HenknoU. The legend dates the matter in crusadii^ 
times, and is chivalric in the extreme. John of Bellasis 

* Communicatttd by Mr. Longstaffe. 



PLACES AND FAMILIES. 201 

minded to take up the cross^ and fight in Holy Land» 
found bis piety sorely let and hindered by his attach- 
ment to the green pastures and deep meadows of his 
ancestors. With resolution strong, he exchanged them 
with the Church of Durham, for Henknoll, near 
Auckland. He went to fight, but lived it seems to return 
and repent his rash bargain. I descend by one step> 
from the sublime to the ridiculous, to mention how 
oddly more recent characters are wound round those of 
olden time, for a popular notion is that the Bed-Gross 
Knight had enormous teeth, and was passionately ad- 
dicted to ^'race-horses I" Children, moreover, have a 
dark saying when they leap off anything : 

BeUasay, Bellasay, what time of day ? 
One o'clock, two o'clock, three and away ! 

Miss BeUasyse, the heiress of Brancepeth, died for love 
of Robert Shafto, of Whitworth, whose portrait at 
Whitworth represents him as very young and handsome, 
with yellow hair. He was the favorite candidate in the 
election of 1791, when he was popularly called Bonny 
Bobby Shafto ; and the old song of the older Bobby, 
who, it seems, was also ''bright and fair, combing down 
his yellow hair," was revived with the addition of — 

Bobby Shafto's looking out. 
All his ribbons flew about. 
All the ladies gave a shout — 
Hey, for Bobby Shafto ! 

The most ancient\erses of the'old'song seem to be — 

Bobby Shafto's gone to sea, 
Silver buckles at his knee ; 
He'U come back and marry me. 
Bonny Bobby Shafto. 

Bobber Shafto's bright and fair. 
Combing down his yeUow hair ; 
He's my ain for evermair, 
Bonny Bobby Shafto. 



202 PLACES AND FAMILIES* 

An apocryphal rene says, — 

Bobby Shafto's getten a bairn, 
For to dangle on his arm — 
On his arm and on his knee ; 
Bobby Shafto lores me. 

KELLOE. 

John Lively, Vicar of Kelloe, 

Had seven daughters anid never a fellow. 

An equivocal rhyme of the bishopric, which may either 
mean that the parson of the sixteenth century had no 
son, or that he had no equal in learning, &c. He cer- 
tainly, however, mentions no son in his will, in which 
he leaves to his daughter Elizabeth, his best gold ring 
with a death's head in it (Compare Love's Labour Lost, 
V. 2), and seventeen yards of white cloth for curtains 
of a bed, and to his daughter Mary his silver seal of 
arms, his gimald ring, and black gold ring. Another 
version of the proverb reads '* six daughters," and in- 
deed seven is often merely a conventional number. 

ROSEBERRY-TOPPING. 

''Not fax from Gisborough is Ounsberry-hill, or 
Roseberry-topping, which mounts aloft and makes a 
great shew at a distance, serving unto sailors for a 
mark of direction, and to the neighbour inhabitants for 
a prognostication ; for as often as Uie head of it hath 
its cloudy cap on, there commonly follows rain^ where- 
upon they have a proverbial rhyme. 

When Boseberrv-topping wears a cap. 
Let Cleveland then oeware a clap. 

Near to the top of it, out of a huge rock, there flows a 
spring of water, medicinable for diseased eyes; and 
from thence there is a most delightful prospect upon 
the valleys below to the hills above." -^Brome's Travels, 
8vo. Lond. 1700. 



PLACES AND FAMILIES. 203 

LINCOLN. 

" As for £he town, though it flourished mightily for 
some years together after the Norman Conquest, by 
reason of a staple for wooll and other commodities, 
setled here by King Edward the Third ; yet it met still 
with some calamities or other, which hindred its growth 
and eclipsed its grandeur, for it had its share of suffer- 
ings, both by fire and water, in King Stephen's days, 
about which time, it seems, though the king had at 
first been conquered and taken prisoner, yet he after- 
ward entred into the city in triumph, with his crown 
npon his head, to break the citizens of a superstitious 
opinion they held, that no king could possibly enter 
into that city after such a manner, but some great dis- 
aster or other would befal him ; but neither did it then, 
or by the barons' wars afterwards, sustain half the 
damages which of late years it hath received from the 
devouring hands of time, who hath wrought its down- 
fal, and from a rich and populous city hath reduced it 
almost to the lowest ebb of fortune; and of fifty 
charches, which were all standing within one or two 
centuries, hath scarce left fifteen ; so that the old pro- 
yerbial rhymes (which go current amonst them) seem 
so far to have something of verity in them : 

Lincoln was, and Londoii is, 

And York shall be 

The fairest city of the three." — ^Ibid. 

SKIDDAW. 

" After we had passed these borders we arrived again 
safe in our own native boU, within the precincts of 
Cumberland, which, like the rest of the northern coun- 
ties, hath a sharp piercing air ; the soil is fertile for the 
most part both with corn and cattel, and in some parts 
hereof with fish and fowl ; here are likewise several 
minerals^ which of late have been discovered ; not only 



204 PLACES AND FAMILIES. 

mineB of copper, but some veins of gold and silver, as 
we were informed, have been found ; and of all the 
shires we have, it is accounted the best furnished with 
the Roman antiquities. Nor is it less renowned for its 
exceeding high mountains ; for, beside the mountain 
called Wrye-nose, on the top of which, near the highway 
side, are to be seen three shire-stones within a foot of 
each other, one in this county, another in Westmore- 
land, and a third in Lancashire. There are thr^ other 
hills. Skid daw, Lanvalin, and Casticand, very remark- 
able. Skiddaw riseth up with two mighty high heads, 
like Parnassus, and beholds Scruffel Hill, which is in 
Annandale, in Scotland ; and accordingly as mists arise 
or fall upon these heads, the people thereby prognos- 
ticate of the change of weather, singing this rhime : 

If Skiddaw have a cap, 
Scruffel wotts full of that. 

And there goes also this usual by- word concerning the 
height, as well of this hUl as of the other two : 

Skiddaw, Lanvellin, and Casticand, 

Are the highest hills in all England." — Ibid. 

INGLEBOROUGH. 

'* Here are three great hills, not far distant asunder, 
seeming to be as high as the clouds, which are Ingle- 
borow, Penigent, and Pendle, on the top of which 
grows a peculiar plant called cloudsberry, as though it 
came out of the clouds. This hill formerly did the 
country much harm, by reason of an extraordinary deal 
of water gushing out of it, and is now famous for an 
infallible sign of rain whensoever the top of it is covered 
with a mist ; and by reason of the excessive height for 
which they are all three celebrated, there is this pro- 
verbial rhime goes current amongst them : 

Ingleborow, Pendle, and Pendent, 

Are the highest hills betwixt Scotland and Trent."— Ibid. 



PLAGES AND FAMILIES. 205 



THE KIRBY FEI6HT. 

Eighty-eight wor Kirby feight. 

When nivver a man was slain ; 
They yatt ther meaat, an drank ther drink. 

An sae com merrily heaam agayn. 

After the abdication of James the Second, in the 
year 1688, a rumonr was spread in the North of England 
that he ^as lying off the Yorkshire coast, ready to make 
a descent with a numerous army from France, in hopes 
of regaining his lost throne. This report gave the 
Lord Lieutenant of Westmoreland an opportunity of 
showing his own and the people's attachment to the 
new order of things; he accordingly called out the 
passe comitatusy comprising all able-bodied men from 
sixteen to sixty. The order was obeyed with alacrity ; 
and the inhabitants met armed in a field called Miller* s- 
dose, near Kendal, from whence they marched to 
Kirby Lonsdale. This historical fact explains the above 
popidar rhyme, the meaning of which is, at this day, 
perhaps not generally understood.— West, and Cumb. 
Dial. 89. 

THORNTON. 

At the Westgate came Thornton in 
With a hap, a halfpenny, and a lambskin. 

A Newcastle distich relating to Roger Thornton, a 
wealthy merchant, and a great benefactor to that town. 
A hap is a coarse coverlet of any kind. 



ISLE OF MAN. 

All the bairns unborn will rue the day 
That the Isle of Man was sold away ; 
And there's ne'er a wife that loves a dram. 
But what will lament for the Isle of Man. 

18 



206 SUPSSSTITION-EHYMES. 



BARSOON. 

Hartley and Hallowell, a' ya' bonnie lassie, 
Pair Seaton-Delaval, a' ya' ; 
Earsdon stands on a hill, a' ya'. 
Near to the Billy-mill, a' ya'. 



IX.— SUPBRSTITION-RHYMES. 

Although the spread of education has doubtlessly 
weakened in an extraordinary degree the hold which 
superstition formerly maintained on the mind of the 
public, yet yestiges of the more innocent portions of 
superstitious belief are still in considerable repute 
amongst the lower orders, and may be found in all their 
force in many of the rural districts. It may be a 
question how far a complete eradication of these would 
benefit the cause of religion and morality, treason 
though it be in these times to doubt the efficacy of 
argumentative education. But all of us cannot be 
philosophers; and need we reprove a pretty village 
maiden for plucking the even-ash or four-leaved clover? 
The selfish tendencies of the age, in their opposition to 
every action which partakes of poetry or romantic be- 
lief, will effect their mission without the aid of the 
cynic. 

CHARM-RHYMES. 

The subject of rural charms, many of which are 
lineal descendants from those used by our Anglo-Saxon 
ancestors, is one of great interest and curiosity ; and it 
were much to be wished that a complete collection of 
them were formed. The following one is taken from a 



SUPEESTITION-BHTMEB. 207 

manuscript of the time of Queen Elizabeth ; the others 
are for the most part still in use. 

This charme shall be said at night, or against night, about the 
place or /eild, or about beasts without /eild, and whosoever 
Cometh in, he goeth not out for certaine. 

On three crosses of a tree. 

Three dead bodyes did hang ; 

Two were theeves, 

The third was Christ, 

On whom our beleife is. 

Dismas and Gesmas ; 

Christ amidst them was ; 

Dismas to heaven went, 

Gesmas to heaven was sent. 

Christ that died on the roode, 

Eor Marie's love that by him stood. 

And through the vertne of his blood, 

Jesus save us and our good. 

Within and without. 

And all this place about 1 

And through the vertue of his might, 

Lett noe theefe enter in this night 

Noe foote further in this place 

That I upon Roe, 

But at my bidding there be bound 

To do all things tnat I bid them do I 

Starke be their sinewes therewith. 

And their lives mightles. 

And their eyes sightles 1 

Dread and doubt 

Them enclose about. 

As a wall wrought of stone ; 

So be the crampe in the ton (toes) : 

Crampe and crookeing. 

And tault in their tooting. 

The might of the Trinity 

Save these goods and me. 

In the name of Jesus, holy benedicit^. 

All about our ^oods bee. 

Within and without. 

And all place about ! 



208 SUF£BSTITION-RHYM£S. 

JFarts, — ^Whoever will charm away a wart must take 
a pin and go to an ash-tree. He then crosses the wart 
with the pin three times, and, after each crossing, 
repeats: 

Ash-tree, ashen-tree. 
Pray buy this wart of me ! 

After which he sticks the pin in the tree, and the wart 
soon disappears, and grows on the tree instead. This 
must be done secretly. I need scarcely observe that 
the ash is sacred amongst all the Teutonic and Scan* 
dinavian nations. 

Another. — Take a bean-shell, and rub the wart with 
it ; then bring the bean-shell under an ash-tree, and 
repeat: 

As this bean-shell rots away. 

So my wart shall soon decay ! 

This also must be done secretly. 

The Hiccup. 

Hickup, hickup, go away. 
Come again another day : 
Hicknp, hickup, when I bake, 
ril give to you a butter-cake. 

TAe ^^e.— Said on St. Agnes's ere, sometimes up 
the chimney, by the oldest female in the family : 

Tremble and go ! 
Pirst day shiver and bum : 

Tremble and quake ! 
Second day shiver and learn : 

Tremble and die ! 
Third day never return. 

Cattle. — Reginald Scot relates that an old woman who 
cured the diseases of cattle, and who always required 
a penny and a loaf for her services, used these lines for 
the purpose : 



8UPERSTITI0N-SHTWBS. 209 

My loaf im mj lap. 

My penny in my purse ; 
Thou art never the oetter, 

And I am never the worse. 

The same writer gives a curious anecdote of a priest 
who, on one occasion, went out a-nights with his com- 
panions, and stole all the eels from a miller's wear. 
The poor miller made his complaint to the same priest^ 
who desired him to he quiet, for he would so denounce 
the thief and his confederates hy hell, hook, and candle, 
they should have small joy of their fish. Accordingly, 
on the following Sunday, during the service, he pro- 
nounced the following sentences to the congregation : 

All you that have stol'n the miller's eels, 

Laudate Dominum de cselis ; 
And all they that have consented thereto, 

Benedicamus Domino. 

**So,** says he, "there is sauce for your eels, my 
masters !" 

An " old woman came into an house at a time whenas 
the maid was churning of hutter, and having laboured 
long, and could not make her butter come, the old 
woman told the maid what was wont to be done when 
she was a maid, and also in her mother's young time, 
that if it happened their butter would not come readily, 
they used a charm to be said over it whilst yet it was in 
beating, and it would come straightways, and that was 
this: 

Ck)me, batter, oome. 

Come, batter, oome ; 

Peter stands at the gate. 

Waiting for a battered cake ; 

Gome, batter, come I 

This, said the old woman, being said three times, will 
make your butter come, for it was taught my mother by 
a learned churchman in Queen Marie's days; whenas 
churchmen had more cunning, and could teach people 

18 § 



210 SUPEftSTITION-BHYMES. 

many a trick that our ministen now-a-days know not." 
— ^Ady's Candle in the Dark, 1656, p. 59. 

"•Riere be twenty several ways/* says Scot, 1584, 
** to make your batter come, which for brevity I omit, 
as to bind your chum with a rope, to thrust therein a 
red-hot spit, &c. ; but your best remedy and surest way 
is to look well to your dairy-maid or wife, that she 
neither eat up the cream, nor sell away your butter." 

Effimou of Blood. — From Worcestershire. 

Jesus was bom in Bethlem, 
Baptized in the river Jordan; 
The water was wild and wood. 
But he was just and good ; 
God spake, and the water stood. 
And so shall now thy blood. 

Charms were formerly always used when wounds 
were attempted to be cured. So in the old ballad of 
Tommy Potts : 

Tom Potts was but a serving-man. 

But yet he was a doctor good ; 
He bound his handkerchief on the wound. 

And with some words he staunched the blood. 

Bed-charm, — ^The following is one of the most common 
rural charms that are in vogue. Boys are taught to re- 
peat it instead of a prayer : 

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, 
Bless the bed that I lay on ; 
Four comers to my bed. 
Four angels round my head, 
One at head and one at feet. 
And two to keep my soul asleep ! 

There are many variations of it. Ady, in his Candle in 
the Dark, 1656, p. 58, gives the first two lines as having 
been used by an old woman in the time of Queen Mary. 



SUPEBSTITION-BHTMES. 211 

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, 
Bless the bed that I lie on ! 
All the four comers round about. 
When I get in, when I get out ! 

The two followiDg distiches were obtained from Lan- 
cashire, but I cannot profess to explain them, unless 
indeed they were written by the Puritans to ridicule 
the above : 

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, 
Hold the horse that I leap on! 

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, 
Take a stick and lay upon ! 

Bum, — ^The following charm, repeated three times, 
was used by an old woman in Sussex, within the last 
forty years : 

Two angels from the North, 

One brought fire, the other brought frost : 

Out fire ! 

Li frost ! 
Li the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 

Pepys has recorded this, with a slight variation, in^ 
his Diary, vol. ii. p. 416. 

Thorn. — This rural charm for a thorn was obtained 
from Yorkshire : 

Unto the Yirgin Maiy our Saviour was bom. 
And on his head he wore a crown of thorn; 
If you believe this true and mind it well, 
Tms hurt will never fester nor swell ! 

The following one is given by Lord Northampton in 
his Defensative against the Poyson of supposed Pro- 
phecies, 1583, as having been used by Mother Joane of 

Stowe: 

Our Lord was the fyrst man 
That ever thome prickt upon ; 
It never blysted, nor it never belted, 
And I pray God nor this not may. 



.M _ ^"^^^ 



212 SUPEftSTITION-KHYMES. 

And Pepys, ii. 415> gives anotlier! 

Christ was of a vimn bom, 
And he was pricked with a thorn j 
And it did neither bell nor swell. 
And I trust in Jesus this never will. 

Toothaehe»^^A very common one in the North of 
England, but I do not remember to have seen it in print 

Peter was sitting on a marble-stone. 

And Jesus passed bjr; 
Peter said, " my Lonl, my God, 

How my tooth doth ache!" 

Jesus said, "Peter art whole ! 
And whoever keeps these words for my sake 
Shall never have the tooth-ache!"* 

Aubrey gives another charm for this complaint, 
copied out of one of Ashmole's manuscripts: 

Mars, hurs, abursa, aburse ; 
Jesu Christ, for Mary's sake. 
Take away this tooth-ache ! 

Against an evil tongue. From Auhrey, 1696, p. llL- 
^Take unguentum populeum and vervain, andhypericon, 
and put a red-hot iron into it. You must anoint the back- 
bone, or wear it on your breast. This is printed in Mr. 
W. Lilly's Astrology. Mr. H. C. hathtry'd this receipt 
with good success. 

" Vervain and dill 
Hinders vritches from their will." 

Crfla/ip.— From Pepys' Diary, ii. 415 : 

Cramp, be thou faiutless, 
As our Lady was sinless. 
When she bare Jesus. 

* It is a fact that within the la«t few yean tlie fbllowhig igBonnt eopy 
of this charm was used by a native of Craven, recorded tyy Cair, ii. SG^ 
and I have been informed on credible authority that the trade of seUiaf 
efficacies of this kind is Tar from obsolete in the remote rural districts : 

*' Ass Sant Petter Sat at the Geats of Jerusalem our blesed Lord and 
Sevour Jesus Crist Pased by and Sead, What Eleth thee hee Sead Lord My 
Teeth Ecketh he Sead arise and folow Mee and Thy Teeth shall Never 
£ake Eney Moor, fiat + fiat + £at -h ." 



SUPEBSTITION-BHYMES. 2 1 3 

Seiatiea. — ^The patient must lie on his back on the 
bank of a river or brook of water, with a straight staff 
by his side between him and the water, and must have 
the following words repeated over him — 

Bone-shave right. 
Bone-shave straight ; 
As the water runs by the stave. 
Good for bone-shave. 

The bane-^have is a Devonshire term for the sciatica. 
See the Exmoor Scolding, ed. 1839, p. 2. 

Night-mare, — ^The following charm is taken from 
Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft, 1584, p. 87 : 

S. (George, 8. Greorge, our ladies knight. 
He walkt by daie, so did he by night. 
Untill such time as he her found. 
He hir beat and he hir bound, 
Untill hir troth she to him pl^ht. 
She would not come to hir that night. 

Sore eyes. — From the same work, p. 246 :] 

The diuell pull out both thine eies. 
And etish m the holes likewise. 

For rest, — From the same work, p. 260 : 

In nomine Patris, up and downe, 

Et Eihi et Spiritus Sancti upon my crowne. 

Crux Christi upon my brest ; 

Sweete ladie, send me etemall rest. 

Stopping of Blood. — From the same work, p. 273 : 

In the blond of Adam death was taken + 
In the blond of Christ it was all to-shaken + 
And bv the same bloud I doo thee charge 
That tnou doo runne no longer at large. 

This charm continued in use long after the publication 
of Scot's work. A version of it, slightly altered, is 
given in the Athenian Oracle, 1728, i. 158, as having 
been used by n^sountry empyryc. 



214 8UP£aSTITI0N-&BYMES« 

Evil SpifitM.'^" When I was a boy/' says Anlyrey, 
MS. Lansd. 231, *' a charme was used for (I thinke) 
keeping away evill spiritoy which was to say thrice in a 
breath — 

"Three blew beanes in a blew bladder. 
Battle, bladder, rattle." 

These lines are quoted by Zantippa in Peele's Old 
Wives Tale, 1595. 

BUCKEE BENE. 

Bnckee, Backee, biddy Bene, 
Is the way now &ir and cleaaP 
Is the goose ygone to nest. 
And the fox ygone to rest ? 
Shall I come away f 

These carious lines are said by Deyonshire children 
when they go through any passages in the dark, and are 
said to be addressed to Puck or Robin Goodfellow as a 
method of asking permission to trace them. Biddy 
bene, A.-S. biddan, to ask or pray, b^ a supplication 
or entreaty. Buckee, possibly a corruption of Puck. 

THE ox. 

In Herefordshire, on the eve of Twelfth-day, the 
best ox, white or spotted, has a cake placed on his left 
horn ; the men and girls of the farm-house being pre- 
sent, drink out of a silver tankard to him» repeating 
this verse — 

We drink to thee and thy white horn. 
Pray God send master a good crop of com, 
Wheat, lye, and barley, and all sorts of grain : 
If alive at the next time, I'll hail thee again ! 

The animal is then sprinkled with the libation. Thii 
makes him toss his head up and down, and if, in so doings 
the cake be thrown forwaras, it is a good omen ; if back* 



SUPERSTITION-RHYMES. 2 1 5 

wards, the contrary. SirS. Meyrick, Trans. Brit. Arch. 
Assoc. Glouc. 1848, p. 128, appears to consider this 
cnstom a relic of the ancient Pagan religion. 

LOVE DIVINATIONS. 

Buiter-doek, — ^The seeds of butterdock must be sowed 
by a yonng unmarried woman half an hour before sun* 
rise on a Friday morning, in a lonesome place. She 
must strew the seeds gradually on the grass, saying these 
words — 

I sow, I sow! 
Then, my own dear. 
Come here, come h^re. 
And mow and mow ! 

The seed being scattered, she will see her future hus- 
band mowing with a scythe at a short distance from her. 
She must not be frightened, for, if she says '' Have 
mercy on me,'* he will immediately vanish. Tins method 
is said to be inMlible, but it is looked upon as a bold, 
desperate, and presumptuous undertaking. 

True-love. — Two young unmarried girls must sit toge- 
ther in a room by themselves, from twelve o'clock at 
night till one o'clock the next morning, without speak- 
ing a word. During this time each of them must take 
as many hairs from her head as she is years old, and, 
having put them into a linen cloth with some of the herb 
true-love, as soon as the clock strikes one, she must 
bum every hair separately, saying — 

I ofPerthis my sacrifice 
To him most precious in my eyes ; 
I charce thee now come forth to me. 
That 1 this minute may thee see. 

Upon which her first husband will appear, and walk 
round the room, and then vanish. The same event 
happens to both the girls, but neither see the other's 
lover. 



2 1 6 SUPERSTITION -BHTMB8. 

Gerard says of the herb tnie-loTe or moonwort, p. 328, 
that " witches do wonders withall, who say that it will 
loose locks, and make them to fall from the feete of 
horses that grase where it doth growe.'' 

A charm-divination on the 6th of October, St. Faith's 
day, is still in use in the North of England. A cake of 
flour, spring water, salt and sugar, is made by three 
girls, each having an equal hand in the composition. It 
is then baked in a Dutch oven, sUence being strictly 
preserved, and turned thrice by each person. When it is 
well baked, it must be divided into three equal parts, 
and each girl must cut her share into nine pieces, draw- 
ing every piece through a wedding-ring which had been 
borrowed from a woman who has been married seven 
years. Each girl must eat her pieces of cake while she 
is undressing, and repeat the following verses : 

good St. Eaith, be kind to-ni^ht. 
And bring to me mv heart's delight ; 
Let me my future nusband view. 
And be my visions chaste and true. 

All three must then get into one bed, with the ring 
suspended by a string to the head of the couch. They 
will then dream of their future husbands, or if per- 
chance one of them is destined to^ lead apes, she will 
dream of wandering by herself over crags and moun- 
tains. 

On the 28th of the same month, another divi- 
nation is practised by the paring of an apple, which 
is taken by a girl in the right hand, who recites the 
following lines, standing in the middle of a room — 

St. Simon and Jude, on you I intrude, 
Bv this paring I hold to discover, 

Witnout any demy, to tell me this day . 
The first letter of my own true lover. 

She must then tarn round three times, casting the par- 
ing over her left shoulder, and it will form the first letter 
of her husband's name ; but if the paring breaks into 



SUP£BSTITION-RHTM£S» 217 

many pieces so that no letter is discernible, she will 
never marry. The pips of the apple must then be placed 
in cold spring water, and eaten by the girl ; but for what ^ 
further object my deponent sayeth not. 

A very singular divination practised at the period of 
the harvest-moon is thus described in an old chap- 
book. When you go to bed, place under your pillow a 
prayer-book open at the part of the matrimonial service^ 
" With this ring I thee wed ;" place on it a key, a ring, 
a flower, and a sprig of willow, a small heart-cake, a 
crust of bread, and the following cards : — the ten of 
clubs, nine of hearts, ace of spades, and the ace of dia- 
monds. Wrap all these in a thin handkerchief of gauze 
or muslin, and on getting into bed, cross your hands, 
and say — 

Luna, every woman's friend. 

To me thv goodness condescend; 

Let me this night in visions see 

Emblems of my destiny. 

If you dream of storms, trouble will betide you ; if the 
storm ends in a fine calm, so will your fate ; if of a 
ring or the ace of diamonds, marriage ; bread, an in- 
dustrious life ; cake, a prosperous life ; flowers, joy ; 
willow, treachery in love ; spades, death ; diamonds, 
money; clubs, a foreign land; hearts, illegitimate 
children ; keys, that you will rise to great trust and 
power, and never know want ; birds, that you will have 
many children ; and geese, that you will marry more 
than once. 

In Dorsetshire, the girls have a method of divination 
with their shoes for obtaining dreams of their future 
huefbands. At night, on going to bed, a girl places her 
shoes at right angles to one another, in the form of a T, 
saying — 

Hoping this night my true love to see, 

I place my shoes in the form of a T. 

On St. Luke's day, says Mother Bunch, take mari- 

19 



218 8UPEESTITI0N-RHYMES. 

gold flowers, a sprig of marjoram, thyme, and a Cttle 
wormwood ; dry them before a fire, mb them to powder ; 
then fiift it through a fine piece of kwn, and simmer it 
over a slow fire, adding a small quantity of virgin honey, 
and vinegar. Anoint yourself with this when you go to 
bed, saying the following lines three times, and you will 
dream of your partner '^that is to be :" 

St. Luke, St. Luke, be kind to me. 
In dreams let me my tme love see. 

If a girl desires to obtain this information, let her 
seek for a green peascod in which there are full nine 
peas, and write on a piece of paper — 

Come in, my dear. 
And do not fear ; 

which paper she must inclose in the peascod, and lay 
it under die 4oor. The first person who comes into the 
room will be her husband. Does Shakespeare allude to 
some notion of this kind by the wooing of a peascod in 
As Yon Like It, ii. 4 ? 



ST. AGNES* NIGHT. 



"The women have several magical secrets handed 
down to them by tradition, as on St. Agnes* night, 21 at 
January. Take a row of pins, and puLl out every one, 
one after another, saying a Pater Noster, sticking a pin 
in your sleeve, and you will dream of him or ber yon 
shfdl marry. You must lie in another county, and knit 
the left garter about the right-legg'd stockin (let the 
other garter and stockin alone), and as you rehearse 
these following verses, at every comma knit a knot: 

ITiis knot I knit 

To know the thing I know not yet : 

That I mav see 

The man that shall my husband be. 

How he goes and what he wears. 

And what he does all the days. 



SUPEESTITION-KHYMES. 2 1 9 

Accordingly in your dream you will see him, if a mu- 
sitian with a lute or other instrument, if a scholar, with 
a book, &c. A gentlewoman that I knew confessed in 
my hearing, that she used this method, and drea,mt of 
her husband whom she had never seen. About two or 
three years after, as she was on Sunday at church, up 
pops a young Oxonian in the pulpit. She cries out 
presently to her sister, 'This is the very face of the man 
that I saw in my dream.' '* — Aubrey's Miscellanies, ed. 
1696, p. 105. 

On St. Agnes' day, take a sprig of rosemary, and 
another of thyme, and sprinkle them thrice with water. 
In the evening put one in each shoe, placing a shoe 
on each side of the bed, and when you retire to rest, 
say the following lines, and your future husband will 
appear "visible to sight :" 

St. Agnes, that's to lovers kind, 
Gome ease the trouble of my mind. 

KALE. 

The young women of some districts in the North of 
England have a method of divination by kale or broth, 
which is used for the purpose of learning who are to be 
their future husbands. The plan followed is this. The 
maiden at bedtime stands on something on which she 
never stood before, holding a pot of cold kale in her 
hand, and repeating the following lines. She then 
drinks nine times, goes to bed backwards, and of course 
dreams of her partner : 

Hot kale or cold kale, I drink thee ; 

If ever I marry a man, or a man marry me, 

I wish this night I may him see. 

To-morrow may hun ken 
In church, fair, or market. 

Above all other men. 

On Valentine's day take two. bay leaves, sprinkle 



220 SUPEBSTITIOM-aUYMES. 

them with rose-water, and lay them across your piUow 
in the evening. When you go to hed, put on a dean 
nightgown turned wrong side outwards, and, lying 
down, say these words softly to yourself: 

Good Valentine, be kind to me. 
In dreams let me my true love see. 

After this go to sleep as soon as you can, and you wiU 
see in a dream your future husband. 

Schoolboys have several kinds of divination-verses 
on going to bed, now repeated '^ more in mock than 
mark/' but no doubt originating in serious belief — 

Gro to bed first, 
A golden purse; 
Go to bed second, 
A golden pheasant ; 
Go to bed third, 
A golden bird. 

The positions they occupy in the bed are su^estive of 
the following fortunes : 

He that lies at the stock. 
Shall have the gold rock ; 
He that lies at the wall, 
ShaU have the gold ball ; 
He that lies in the middle. 
Shall have the gold fiddle. 

BALL-DIVINATION. 

Cook a ball, cherry-tree ; 

Good ball, tell me 

How many years I shall be 

Before my true love I do see P 

One and two, and that makes three ; 

Thank'ee, good ball for telling of me. 

Cook is to toss, or throw, a provincialism common in 
the Midland counties. The ball is thrown against a 



SUPfiBSTITION-BHYMES. 22 1 

wall, and the divination is taken from the number of 
rebounds it makes. Another version is-* 

Gnd^oo, cherry-tree,* 
Good ball, tell me 
How many years I shall be 
Before I get married? 

And this is probably correct, for we appear to have 
formed ^tna method of divination in some indirect 
manner from a custom still prevalent in Germany of 
addressing the cuckoo, when he is first heard, with a 
view of ascertaining the duration of life, by counting 
the number of times it repeats its note. The lines used 
on this occasion are given by Grimm : 

KukuJc, Bec^enknecht ! 

Sag mir recht, 
Wie viel jahr Ich leben soil ? 

An old story is told of a man who was on his road to- 
wards a monastery, which he was desirous of entering as 
a monk for the salvation of his soul, and hearing the 
cuckoo, stopped to count the number of notes. They 
were twenty-two. "Oh!** said he, "since I shall be 
sure to live twenty-two years, what is the use of morti- 
fying myself in a monastery all that time ? Fll e'en 
go and live merrily for twenty years, and it will be all 
in good time to betake me to a monastery for the other 
two.'* See Wright's Essays, i. 257 ; and Latin Stories, 
p. 42, de cuculo ; p. 74, de muliere in extremis quae 
dixit Jmekuc, Both these tales curiously illustrate the 
extent to which faith in the divination extended. 

If a maid desires to attach the affections of her lover 
unalterably to her, she must wait till she finds him 

* The fbUowiBg lines reached me without an explanation. They seem 
to be analogous to the above : 

Cuckoo» cherry-tree. 
Lay an egg, give it rae ; 
Lay another. 
Give it my brother ! 

19§ 



222 8TIPEBSTITI0K-BHYMES. 

asleep with Ms clothes on. She must then take away 
one of his garters without his perceiving it, and tie it to 
her own in a true-love knot, saying- 
Three times this knot 

I tie secure ; 
rirm is the knot, 
Finn his love endure. 

In many parts of the country, it is considered ex* 
tremely unlucky to give a person anything that is shaip, 
as a knife, razor, &c,, hut the had fortune may be 
averted if the receiver gives something, however tii^g, 
in return, and exclaims — 

If you love me as I love yon. 

No knife shall cut onr love in two! 

In counting the huttons of the waistcoat upwards, 
the last found corresponding to one of the following 
names indicates the destiny of the wearer z 

My belief, — 
A captain, a colonel, a cow-boy, a thief. 

THE EVEN-ASH. 

A girl must pluck a leaf from the even-ash, and, 
holding it in her hand, say — 

This even-ash I hold in my hand. 
The fiist I meet is my true man. 

She carries it in her hand a short distance, and if she 
meets a young man, he will he her future hushand. If 
not, she must put the leaf in her glove, and say — 

This even-ash I hold in my glove. 
The first I meet is my true love. 

She carries it in her glove a short time, with the same 
intention as hefore, but if she meets no one, she places 
the leaf in her hosom, saying — 

This even-ash I hold in my bosom. 
The first I meet is my husband. 



StJPEBSTITION-BHTMES. 223 

And the first yoxmg man she meets after this will infal- 
libly be her future partner. There are a great variety 
of rhymes relating to the even-aBh. Another is — 

If yon find even-ash or four-leaved clover. 
Yon 'will see yonr love afore the day's over. 

DOCK. 

Nettle in, dock out. 
Dock rub nettle out ! 

If a person is stnng with a nettle, a certain cure will be 
effected by rubbing dock leaves over the part, repeating 
the above charm very slowly. Mr. Akerman gives us 
another version of it as current in Wiltshire : 

Out 'ettle, in dock, 
Dockzhall ha' a new smock; 
'Ettle zhant ha' narrun ! 

THE YARBOW. 

This plant, in the eastern counties, is termed yar- 
roway^ and there is a curious mode of divination with 
its serrated leaf, with which you must tickle the inside 
of your nose, repeating the foUowin^ lines. If the ope- 
ration causes the nose to bleed, it is a certain omen of 
success : 

Yarroway, yarroway, bear a white blow. 
If my loye love me, my nose will bleed now. 

Another mode of diyination with this plant caused a 
dream of a future husband. An ounce of yarrow, sewed 
up in flannel, must be placed under your pillow when 
you go to bed, and having repeated the following words, 
the required dream will be realized : 

Thou pretty herb of Venus' tree. 

Thy true name it is yarrow ; 
Now who my bosom fnend must be. 

Pray tell thou me to-morrow. 



224 ^UPSBSTITION-RHYMES, 

Boys haye a variety of dimaiions with the kerneh of 
pips of fruit. They will shoot one with their thumb 
and forefinger, exclmming— 

Kernel come kernel, hop over my thumb. 

And tell me which way my true love vnll come ; 

East, West, North, or South, 

Kernel, jump into my true love's mouth. 

This is taken from Mr. Barnes's Dorset GL, p. 320, but 
the author does not inform us in what way the divina- 
tion was effected* I remember throwing apple-pips into 
the fire, saying — 

If you love me, pop and fly. 
If you hate me, lay and die 1 

addressing an imaginary love, or naming some indi- 
vidual whose affection was desired to be tested. 

Girls used to have a method of divination with a 
*'St, Thomas's onion,"* for the purpose of ascertain- 
ing their future partners. They peeled the onion, wrapped 
it up in a clean handkerchief, and then placing it under 
their heads, said the following lines : 

Good St. Thomas, do me right. 
And let my true love come to-night. 
That I may see him in the face. 
And him in my kind arms embrace ; 

which were considered infallible for procuring a dream 
of the beloved one. 

To know if your present sweetheart will marry you, 
let an unmarried woman take the bladebone of a shoulder 
of lamb, and borrowing a penknife, without on any ac- 
count mentioning the purpose for which it is required, 
stick it through the bone when she goes to bed for 
nine nights in different places, repeating the following 
lines each time : 

* One of the old cries of London was, *' Buy my rope of onions — white 
SU Thomas's (Mions.** They are also mentioned in the '< Hog hath lost hi* 
Pearl," i.l. 



SUPERSTITION-BHYMES. 225 

Tis not this bone I mean to stick, 
But my love's heart I mean to prick> 
Wishing him neither rest nor sleep. 
Until he comes to me to speak. 

Accordingly at the end of the nine days, or shortly 
afterwards, he will ask for something to put to a wound 
he will have met with during the time he was thus 
charmed. Another method is also employed for the 
same object. On a Friday morning, fasting, write on 
four pieces of paper the names of three persons you like 
best, and also the name of Death, fold them up, wear 
them in your bosom all day, and at night shake them 
up in your left shoe, going to bed backwards ; take out 
one with your left hand, and the other with your right, 
throw three of them out of the shoe, and in the morn- 
ing whichever name remains in the shoe is that of your 
future husband. If Death is left, you will not marry 
any of them. 

VERVAIN. 

The herb vervain was formerly held of great efficacy 
against witchcraft, and in various diseases. Sir W. Scott 
mentions a popular rhyme, supposed to be addressed to 
a young woman by the devil, who attempted to seduce 
her in the shape of a handsome young man : 

Gin you wish to be leman mine. 

Leave off the St. John's wort and the vervine. 

By his repugnance to these sacred plants, his mistress dis- 
covered the cloven foot. Many ceremonies were used in 
gathering it. " You must observe," says Gerard, " Mo- 
Sier Bumbies rules to take just so many knots or sprigs, 
and no more, least it fall out so that it do you no good, if 
you catch no harme by it ; many odde olde wives' fables 
are written of vervaine, tending to witchcraft and 
sorcerie, which you may reade elsewhere, for I am not 
willing to trouble your eares with reporting such trifles 



226 8UPBEST1TI0N-BHYMES., 

as honest emres abhorre to beare.*' An old English 
poem on the virtue of herbs, of the fourteenth centory, 
says: 

As we redyn, gaderyd most hym be 
With iii. pater-noster andiij. ave, 
Eastand, thow the wedir be grylle, 
Be-twen mydde March and mydde Aprille, 
And 3et awysyd moste the be. 
That the soiine be in ariete. 

A magical MS. in the Chetham Library at Man- 
chester, of the time of Queen Elizabeth, furnishes us 
with a poetical prayer used in gathering this herb : 

All hele, thou holy herb vervin. 
Growing on the ground ; 
In the mount of Calvery 
There was thou found ; 
Thou helpest many a greife. 
And stenchest many a wound. 
In the nai^e of sweet Jesus, 
I take thee from the ground. 

Lord, effect the same 
That I doe now goe about. 

The following lines, according to this authority, were to 
be said when pulling it : 

In the name of God, on Mount Olivet 
First I thee found; 
In the name of Jesus 

1 pull thee from the ground. 

Two hogsheads full of money were concealed in a 
subterraneous vault at Fenyard Castle, in Herefordshire. 
A farmer undertook to drag them from their hiding- 
place, a matter of no small difficulty, for they were pro- 
tected by preternatural power. To accomplish his 
object, he took twenty steers to draw down the iron 
doors of the vault in which the hogsheads were depo- 
sited. The door was partially opened, and a jackdaw 
was seen perched on one of the casks. The farmer 



SUPERSTITION-BHYMBS. 227 

was oyeijoyed at the prospect of success, and as soon as 
he saw the casks, he exclaimed, " I helieye I shall have 
it/' The door immediately closed with a loud clang, 
and a voice in the air exclaimed — 

Had it not been 
'Eoryour quicken-tree goad. 

And your yew-tree pin. 
You ana your cattle 

Had all been drawn in ! 

The belief that the quicken-tree is of great efficacy 
against the power of witches is still in force in the North 
of England. The yew-tree was formerly employed in 
witchcraft, a practice alluded to in Macbeth : 

Liver of blaspheming Jew, 
Gall of goats, and shps of yew, 
Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse. 

FINGER-NAfLS. 

There is a superstition, says Forby, ii. 411, respect- 
ing cutting the nails, and spme days are considered 
more lucky for this operation than others. To cut 
them on a Tuesday is thought particularly auspicious. 
Indeed if we are to believe an old rhyming saw on this 
subject, every day of the week is endowed with its se- 
veral and peculiar virtue, if the nails are invariably cut 
on that day and no other. The lines are as follow : 

Gut them on Monday, yon cut them for health ; 

Cut them on Tuesday, you cut them for wealth ; 

Cut them on Wednesday, you cut them f(Mr news ; 

Cut them on Thursday, a new pair of shoes ; 

Cut them on Friday, you cut wem for sorrow; 

Cut them on Saturday, see your true love to-morrow; 

Cut them on Sunday, the devH will be with you all the week. 

The following divination-rhymes refer to the gi/ts^ or 
white spots on the nails, beginning with the thumb, and 



228 SUPERSTITION-RHYMES. 

going on regularly to the little finger. The last gift 
will show the destiny of the operator j^ro tempore, — 

A gift — ^a friend — ^a foe — 
A journey — to go. 

DAYS OF BIRTH. 

Monday's child is fair in face, 
Tuesday's child is full of grace, 
Wednesday's child is full of woe, 
Thursday's child has far to go, 
Friday's child is loving and giving, 
Saturdav's child works hard for its living; 
And a cnild that's bom on Christmas day 
Is fair and wise, good and gay. 

COLOtTRS. 

Colour-superstitions, though rapidly disappearing, 
still obtain in the remote rural districts. The following 
lines were obtained from the East of England*: 

Blue is true. 
Yellow's jealous, 
Green's forsaken, 
Red's brazen. 
White is love. 
And black is death ! 

THE MAN IN THE MOON. 

The Man in the Moon 

Sups his sowins with a cutty-spoon. 

A Northumberland dish called sowins, is composed of 
the coarse parts of oatmeal, which are put into a tub, 
and covered with water, and then allowed to stand till 
it turns sour. A portion of it is then taken out, and 
-sapped with milk. It may easily be imagined that this 
is a substance not very accessible to the movements of 
a cutty or very small spoon. 



STJPEI^STITION-RHYMES. 229 

Grimm^ Deutsche Mythologies p. 412^ informs us 
that there are three legends connected with the Man in 
the Moon ; the first, that this personage was Isaac car- 
rying a hundle of sticks for his own sacrifice; the 
second, that he was Cain ; and the other, which is taken 
from the history of the Sahhath-hreaker, as related in 
the Book of Numhers. The last is still generally cur- 
rent in this country, and is alluded to hy Chaucer, and 
many early writers. The second is mentioned by Dante, 
Inferno, xx., Cain sacrificing to the Lord thorns, the 
most wretched production of the ground^ — 

ch^ gik tiene '1 confine 

D'amenduo gli emisperi, e tocca I'oiida 
Sotto Sibilia» Caino e le spine. 

It appears that sowins were not the only food of the 
lunary inhabitant, for it is related by children he once 
faTOured middle-earth with his presence, and took a 
fancy to some pease-porridge, which he was in such a 
hurry to devour that he scalded his mouth : 

The Man in tlie Moon 

Came tumbling down, 
And asked his way to Norwich ; 

He went by the south. 

And burnt his month 
With supping hot pease-porridge* 

His chief beverage, as everybody knows, was claret : 

The Man in the Moon drinks claret. 

But he is a dull Jack-a-Dandy ; 
Would he know a sheep's head from a carrot. 

He should learn to drink cyder and brandy. 

Another old ballad commences, — 

The Man in the Moon drinks claret. 
With powder-beef, turnip, and carrot 



20 



230 



X.— CUSTOM-RHYMES. 

It is greatly to be feared that, notwithstanding tbe 
efforts made within the last few years by indiyidnals who 
have desired to see the resascitation of the merry sports 
and customs of old England, the spirit which formerly 
characterised them is not to be recoTcred. The me- 
chanical spirit of the age has thrown a degree of ridi- 
cule over observances which have not been without use 
in their day ; and might even now be rendered bene- 
ficial to the public, were it possible to exdude the 
influence which tells the humbler subject such matters 
are below his regard. Yet it must be confessed that 
most of our ancient customs are only soited to the 
thinly-populated rural districts, where charity, good- 
will, and friendship may be delicately cultiyated under 
the plea of their observance. 



CHRISTMAS. 

Ha wish ye a meny Chresamas, 

An a hapi^ new year, 
A paatry full a' good rest beef,. 

An a barril full a' beer. 

To these lines we may add the following North-country 
nursery song : 

Now Christmas is oome, and now Pappy's come home» 

Wi' a pegtop for Tammie, a hossif for Sue ; 
A new ba^ o' marbles for Dick ; and for Joan, 

A workbox ; for Phoebe a bow for her shoe : 
Per Cecily singing a humminff-top comes. 

For dull drowsie Marie a sTeepmg-top meet ; 
For Ben, Ned, and Harry, a fife and two drams. 

For Jemiie a box of mce sugar-plums sweet. 



CUSTOM-BHYMES. 231 

CHRISTMAS mummers' PLAY. 

A rude drama is performed at Christmas by the 
goisers or mummers in most parts of England and 
Scotland, but the versions are extremely numerous, 
and no less than six copies have reached me di£fering 
materially from each other. In the following copy, 
which is the most perfect one I have been able to pro- 
cure, the dramatis peraontB consist of a Fool, St. George, 
Slasher, a Doctor, Prince of Paradine, King of Egypt, 
Hector, Beelzebub, and little Devil Doubt. I am in- 
formed that this drama is occasionally acted at Easter 
as well 8US at Christmas. 

Enter Actors. 

Fool. Boom, room, brave gallants, give us room to sport. 
For in this room we wish for to resort, 
Besort, and to repeat to you our meriy rhyme. 
For remember, good sirs, this is Christmas time 1 
The time to cut up goose-pies now doth appear. 
So we are come to act our meny Christmas here ; 
At the sound of the trumpet ana beat of the drum. 
Make room, brave gentlemen, and let our actors come ! 
We are the merry actors that traverse the street. 
We are the merry actors that fight for our meat ; 
We are the merry actors that snow pleasant plav. 
Step in, St. G^rge, thou champion, and clear tiie way. 

Enter St. Gboege. 

I am St. George, who from old England sprung, 
My famous name throughout the world hath rung ; 
Many bloody deeds and wonders have I made known. 
And made the tyrants tremble on their throne. 
I followed a fair lady to a giant's gate. 
Confined in dungeon deep to meet her fate ; 
Then I resolved, with true knight-errantry. 
To burst the door, and set the prisoner free ; 
When a giant almost struck me dead. 
But by my valour I cut off his head. 
I've searched the world all round and round, 
But a man to equal me I never found. 



232 CUSTOM-BHYMESr. 

JW^Slasheb. 

Slasher, I am a yaliant soldier, and Slasher is my name, 
With sword and buckler by my side I hope to win the game ; 
And for to fight with me I see thou art not able. 
So with my trusty broad-sword I soon will thee disable ! 

St. George, Disable ! disable I it lies not in thy power. 
For with my glittering sword and spear I soon will tneedeyour. 
Stand off, Slasher ! let no more be said, 
For if I draw my sword, Fm sure to break thy headf 

Slasher, How can'st thou break my head? 
Since it is made of iron. 
And my body's made of steel ; 
My hands and feet of knuckle-bone : 
I challenge thee to field. 

ITkeyfyht, and Slasher is wounded. 'Exii St. George. 

EiUer EooL. 

Fool. Alas ! alas ! my chiefest son is slain ! 
What must I do to raise him up again P 
Here he lies in the presence of you all, 
rU loyingly for a doctor call ! 

i Aloud.) A doctor ! a doctor ! ten pounds for a doctor ! 
!'ll go and fetch a doctor. [Going. 

Enter DocrroE. 

Doctor. Here am I. 

Fool. Are you the doctor I 

Doctor. Yes, that ^ou may plainly see. 
By my art and activity. 

Fool. Well, what's your fee to cure this man ? 

Doctor. Ten pounds is my fee ; but Jack, if thou be an 
honest man, I'll only take five of thee. 

Fool. You'll be wondrous cunning if you get any {Aside) 
Well how far haye you travelled in doctrineship ? 

Doctor. Prom Italy, Titaly, High Germany, France, and 
Spain, 
And now am returned to cure the diseases in old England 
again. 

Fool. So far, and no further ? 

Doctor. O yes ! a great deal further. 

Fool. How far? 

Doctor. From the fireside cupboard, upstairs and into bed. 



0UST0M-BHYM£3« 233 

FooL What diseases can you cure ? 
Doctor. All sorts. 
FooL What's all sorts P 

Doctor. The itch, the pitch, the palsy, and the gout. 
If a man gets nineteen aevils in his skml, 
FU cast twenty of them out. 
I have in my pockets crutches for lame ducks, spectacles for 
blind humble-oees, pack-saddles and panniers for ^sshoppers, 
and planters for broken-backed mice. I cured Sir Harry of a 
nang-nail, almost fifty-five yards long ; surely I can cure this 
poor man. 
Here, Jack, take a little out of my bottle. 
And let it run down thjr throttle ; 
If thou be not quite slain, 

Bise, Jack, and fight a^n. [Slasher rues. 

Slasher. Oh, my back ! 
FooL What's amiss with thy back ? 
Slasher. My back it is wounded. 
And my heart is confounded, 
To be struck out of seven senses into four score ; 
The like was never seen in Old England before. 

Enter St. Geoegb. 

Oh, hark ! St. George, I hear the silver trumnet sound. 
That summons us from off this bloody grouna ; • 
Down yonder is the way {poirUing). 
!Farewell, St. George, we can no longer stav. 

[Exeunt Slasher, Doctor, and FooL 

St. Oeorge. I am St. Gteoi^e, that noble champion bold. 
And with my trusty sword 1 won ten thousand pounds in 

fild; 
that fought the fiery dragon, and brought him to 
the slaughter. 
And by those means I won the King of Egypt's daughter. 

EiUer Fbince ov Paaadike. 

Prince. I am Black Prince of Paradine, bom of high 
renown ; 
Soon I will fetch St. George's lofty courage down. . 
Before St. George shall be received by me, 
St. George shall die to all eternity ! 

20 § 



234 CU8TOM-BHTME9. 

St. George. Stand off, thou black Morooco dog. 
Or bj my sword, thou'lt die ; 
FU pierce thy body fall of holes, 
Ana make thy buttons fly. 

Prince, Draw out thy sword and slay. 
Pull out thy purse and pay ; 
Eor I will have a recompense 
Before I go away. 

iSt, Oeorge. Now, Prince of Paradine, where have you been? 
And what fine sights, pray, have you seen F 
Dost think that no man of thy age 
Dares such a black as thee engage ? 
Lay down thy sword ; take up to me a spear. 
And then ril fight thee without dread or fear. 

[They fight, and Prince of Paradine is slain. 

St. George, Now Prince of Paradine is dead. 
And all his joys entirely fled ; 
Take him, ana give him to the flies, 
And never more come near mine eyes. 

JSnter King of Egypt. 

King, I am the King of Egypt, as plainly doth appear ; 
I'm come to seek my son, my son, ana only heir. 

St, Cteorge, He is slain. 

King, Who did him slay, who did him kill. 
And on the ground his precious blood did spill ^ 

St, Qeofge, I did him slay, I did him kill. 
And on the ground his precious blood did spill ! 
Please you, my liege, my honour to maintam. 
Had you been there, you might have fared the same. 

Kina, Cursed Christian ! what is this thou'st done ? 
Thou hast ruined me, and slain my only son. 

St, Oeorge. He gave me a challenge, why should I it deny P 
How high ne was, but see how low he lies ! 

King, Hector ! Hector ! help me with speed, 
For in my life I never stood more need ! 

Enter Hectos. 

And stand not there with sword in hand. 
But rise and fight at my command ! 

Hector, Yes, yes, my liege, I will obey. 
And by my sword I hope to win the day ; 



CUSTOM-RHYMES. 235 

If that be he who doth stand there. 
That slew my master's son and heir ; 
If he be sprung from royal blood, 
I'll make it ran like Noah's flood ! 

St. Gearae. Hold, Hector ! do not be so hot, 
Por here tnou knowest not who thou'st got, 
7or I can tame thee of thy pride, 
And lay thine anger, too, aside ; 
Inch thee, and cut thee as small as flies. 
And send thee over the sea to make mince-pies ; 
Mince-pies hot, and mince-pies cold, 
I'll send thee to Black Sam before thou'rt three days old. 

Hector. How canst thou tame me of my pride» 
And lay mine anger, too, aside ? 
Inch me, and cut me as small as flies. 
Send me over the sea to make mince-pies P 
Mince-pies hot, mince-pies cold ; 
How canst thou send me to Bhick Sam before I'm three 

days old ? 
Since my nead is made of iron. 

My body's made of steel. 
My hands and feet of knuckle-bone, 

1 challenge thee to field. 

\_Tk^fyht, and Hector is wounded, 
I am a valiant knight, and £(ector is my name. 
Many bloody battles have I fought, and always won the same; 
But from St. George I received this bloody wound. 

(A trumpet sounds.) 
Hark, hark ! I hear the silver trumpet sound, 
Down yonder is the way (Pointing). 
Farewdl, St. George, I can no longer stay. lEait, 

Enter Fool. 

St. George. He comes from post, old Bold Ben. 

Fool. "Why, master, did ever I take you to be my friend P 

St. George. Why, Jack, did ever I do thee any harm P 

Fool. Thou proud saucy coxcomb, begone ! 

St. George. A coxcomb ! I defy that name ! 
With a sword thou ou^ht to be stabbed for the same. 

Fool. To be stabbed is the least I fear ! 
Appoint your time and place, I'll meet you there. 

St. George. I'll cross the wat«r at the hour of five, 
^d meet you there, sir, if I be alive. [Exit. 



236 CUSTOH-BHTMESb 

Enter Beelzsbttb. 

Here come I, Beelzebnb, 

And over my shoulders I carry my club ; 

And in my nand a drij^ping-pan. 

And I think myself a jolly old man ; 

And if you don't believe what I say. 

Enter in. Devil Doubt, and clear the way. 

Unier Devil Doubt. 

Here come I, little Devil Doubt, 

If you do not give me mon^, I'll sweep you all out : 

Money I want, and money I crave ; 

If you do not give me money I'll sweep you all to the grave. 

NEW year's day. 

God bless the master of this house, 

The mistress also, 
And all the little children 

That round the table go ; 
And idl your kin and kinsmen. 

That dwell both far and near ; 
I wish yon a merry Christmas, 

And a happy new year. 

Wassel or WaasaL — A remnant of this part of our 
Saxon manners still exists at Yarmouth, and strange to 
say, in no other part of the Isle of Wight.. On the 
first day of the new year the children collect together 
and sing wassel or wassal throagh the streets ; the fol- 
lowing is their song (see p. 249) : 

Wassal, wassal, to our town ! 

The cup is white and the ale is brown \ 

The cup is made of the ashen tree. 

And so is the ale of the good barley ; 

Little maid, little maid, turn the pin. 

Open the door and let us come in ; 

God be here, God be there. 

I wish you aU a happy new year ! • 



CUSTOM-EHYMES. 



237 



TWELFTH-NIGfiT^ 

The following verses are said to be in some way or 
other connected with the amusements of this festival. 
They refer probably to the choosing the king and the 
queen on Twelfth-night : 

Lavender's blue, diUy dilly, lavender's green. 
When I am kin^, dilly dilly, you shall be queen : 
Who told you so, dilly dilly, who told you so ? 
'Twas mine own heart, dmj dilly, that told me so. 

Call up jour men, dilly dilly, set them to work. 
Some with a rake, dilly dilly, some with a fork ; 
Some to make hay, dilly dilly, some to thresh com, 
Whilst you and t, dilly dilly, keep ourselves warm. 

If you should die, dilly dilly, as it may hap. 
You shall be buried, dilly oilly, under the tap ; 
Who told you so, dilly cully, pray tell me whyP 
That you might drink, dilly dilly, when you are dry. 



Another version may be given for the sake of adding 
the traditional tune to which it was sung : , 




^m 




LaTender blue, fiddle faddle 



Lavender green. 




When I am king, fiddle faddle. 



You shaU be queen. 




Call up your men, fiddle faddle ; 



Set them to work — 



236 



CUSTOM-BHYMES. 




Some with a rake, fiddle faddle — Some with a fork — 




Some to make hay, fiddle faddle-— 



Some to the farm* 




^m 



Whilst you and I, fiiddle faddle 



Keep ourselyes warm. 



CATHERNIN6. 

Catharine and Clement, be here, be nere. 
Some of your apples, and some of your beer : 
Some for Peter, and some for Paul, 
And some for Him that made us all : 
Clement was a good man, 
For his sake give us some. 
Not of the worst, but some of the best. 
And God will send your soul to rest. 

These lines are sung by the children of Worcester^ 
shire on St. Catharine's day, when they go round to 
the farmhouses collecting apples and beer for a festival. 
This is no doubt the relic of a Popish custom ; and the 
Dean of Worcester informs me that the Chapter hare a 
practice of preparing a rich bowl of wine and spices, 
called the ^' Cathem bowl," for the inhabitants of the 
college precincts upon that day. 



VALENTINE S DAY, 



In the western counties, the children, decked with 
the wreaths and true-lover's knots presented to them. 



CUSTOH-BHYMES. 239 

gaily adorn one of their number as their chiefs and 
inarch from house to house, singing — 

Good morrow to you, Valentine ! 
Curl your locks as I do mine ; 
Two before and three behind ; 
Good morrow to you, Valentine ! 

They commence in many places as early as six o'clock 
in the morning, and intermingle the cry, '' To-morrow 
is come!" Afterwards they make merry with their 
collections. At Islip, co. Oxon, I have heard the chil- 
dren sing the following when collecting pence on this 

day: 

Good morrow, Valentine ! 

I be thine and thou be'st mine. 

So please give me a Valentine ! 

And likewise the following : 

Good morrow, Valentine, 

God bless you ever! 
If you'll be true to me, 
ril be the like to thee ; 

Old England for ever ! 

Schoolboys have a very uncomplimentary way of 
presenting each other with these poetical memorials : 

Peep, fool, peep. 

What do you think to see ? 
Every one has a valentine, 

And here's one for thee ! 

Far different from this is a stanza which is a great 
favorite with young girls on this day, offered indis- 
criminately, and of course quite innocently, to most of 
their acquaintances : 

The rose is red. 

The violet's bhie ; 
Pinks are sweet. 

And so are you! 

The mission of valentines is one of the very few old 
customs not on the wane ; and the streets of our me- 



240 XIUSTOH-RIITMES. 

tropolis practically bear eyidence of this fact in the dis- 
tribution of loye-messages on oar stalls and shop- 
windowsy varying in price from a sovereign to one 
halfpenny. Onr readers, no donbt, will ask for its 
origin, and there we are at fault to begin with. The 
events of St. Valentine's life furnish no cine whatever to 
the mystery, although Wheatley, in his Illustration of 
the Common Prayer, absurdly disposes of the question 
in this way : " St. Valentine was a man of most ad- 
mirable parts, and so famous for his love and charity, 
that the custom of choosing valentines upon his festival, 
which is still practised, took its rise from thence." 
We see no explanation here in any way satisfactory, 
and must be contented with the hope that some of otir 
antiquaries may hit on something more to the purpose. 
Valentine's day has long been popularly believed to 
be the day on wMch birds pair. Shakespeare alludes 
to this belief: 

Good morrow, friends : St. Valentine is past ; 

Begin these wood-birds but to couple now P 

It was anciently the custom to draw lots on this day. 
The names of an equal number of each sex were put 
into a box, in separate partitions, out of which every 
one present drew a name, called the valentine, which 
was regarded as a good omen of their future marriage. 
It would appear from a curious passage quoted in my 
Dictionary of Archaisms, that any lover was hence 
termed a valentine ; not necessarily an affianced lover, 
as suggested in Hampson's Calendarium, vol. i. p. 163. 
Lydgate, the poet of Bury, in the fifteenth century, 
thus mentions this practice : 

Saint Valentme, of cnstom year by year 

Men have an usance in this region 
To look and search Cupid's calendere, 
And choose their choice by great affection : 
Such as be nrick'd with Cupid's motion. 
Taking their cnoice as their lot doth fall : 
But I love one which excelleth alL 



CUSTOM-RHYMES. 24 1 

Gay alludes to another popular notion referring to 
the same day : 

Last Valentine, the day when birds of kind 
Their paramours with mutual chirpings find^ 
I early rose, just at the break of day. 
Before the sun had chas'd the stars away ; 
Afield I went, amid the burning dew. 
To milk my kine, for so should housewives do. 
Thee first 1 spied ; and the first swain we see. 
In spite of fortune shall our true love be. 

The divinations practised on Valentine's day is a 
carious subject. Herrick mentions one by rose-buds : 

She must no more a-majing ; 
Or by rose-buds divine 
Who'll be her valentine. 

Perhaps the poet may here allude to a practice similar 
to the following, quoted by Brand : " Last Friday was 
Valentine day; and the night before I got five bay- 
leaves, and pinned four of them to the four corners of 
my pillow, and the fifth to the middle ; and then, if I 
dreamt of my sweetheart, Betty said we should be mar- 
ried before the year was out. But to make it more sure 
I boiled an egg hard, and took out the yolk, and filled 
it with salt ; and when I went to bed, eat it shell and 
all, without speaking or drinking after it. We also 
wrote our lovers' names upon bits of paper, and rolled 
them up in clay, and put them into water ; and the 
first that rose up was to be our valentine. Would you 
think it ? Mr. Blossom was my man. I lay abed, and 
shut my eyes all the morning, till he came to our house, 
for I would not have seen another man before him for 
all the world.*' According to Mother Bunch, the fol- 
lowing lines should be said by the girl on retiring to 
rest the previous night : 

Sweet guardian angels, let me have 
What I most earnestly do crave, 

A valentine endowed with love, 
That wiU both kind and constant prove. 

21 



242 CUSTOM-BHYMES. 

We believe the old castom of drawing lots on this 
eyentful day is obsolete, and has given place to the 
favorite practice of sending pictures, with poetical 
legends, to objects of love or ridicole. The lower 
classes, however, seldom treat the matter with levity, 
and many are the offers of marriage thus made. The 
clerks at the post-offices are to be pitied, the immense 
increase of letters beyond the usual average adding very 
inconveniently to their labours. 

*' This iz Yolantine day, mind, an be wot ah can see 
theal be a good deal a hanksiaty a mind sturrin amang*t 
owd maids an't batchillors ; luv sickness al be war than 
ivver wor nawn, espeshly amang them ats gettin raither 
owdish like; but all al end weel, so doant be daan 
abaght it. Ah recaleckt, when ah wor a yung man, ah 
went tut poast-office an bowt hauf a peck a volantines 
for tuppance, an when ah look't em ower, thear wor 
wun dereckted for mesen, an this wor wot Uiear wor it 

inside : Paper's scarce, and luv iz dear, 

So av sent ye a bit a my pig-ear ; 
And if t'same bit case we yo, my dear. 
Pray send me a bit a yor pig-ear. 

Ha, ah wor mad, yo mind, ah niwer look't at a yung 
womman for two days at after for't; but it wor becos 
ah hedant a chonce." — Yorkshire Dial. 

YOULING. 

In Rogation week there is or was an odd custom in 
the country about Keston and Wickham, in Kent. A 
number of young men meet together for the purpose, 
and, with a most hideous noise, run into the orchards, 
and, encircling each tree, pronounce these words: 

Stand fast, root ; bear well, top ; 
God send us a youling sop ! 
E'ry twig, apple big; 
E'ry bough, apple enow. 
Hats full, caps full^ 
Full quarter sacks full. 



CUSTOM-RHYMES. 243 

For this incantation the confused rabble expect a 
gratuity in money, or drink, which is no less welcome ; 
bat if they are disappointed in both, they, with great 
solemnity, anathematize the owners and trees with 
altogether as insiguificaBt a curse. 

*'It seems highly probable," says Hasted, in his 
History of Kent, " that this custom has arisen from the 
ancient one of perambulation among the heathens, when 
they made their prayers to the gods, for the use and 
blessing of the fruits coming up, with thanksgiving for 
those of the preceding year ; and as the heathens sup- 
plicated Eolus, the god of the winds, for his favorable 
blasts, so in this custom they still retain his name, with 
a very small variation, the ceremony being called yeul- 
ing ; and the word is often used in their invocations." 

boy's bailiff. 

An old custom, formerly in vogue at Wenlock, in 
Shropshire, thus described by Mr. Collins: "I am 
old enough to remember an old custom, and the last 
time it took place was about sixty years ago ; it was 
called the * boy's baiUff,' and was held in the Easter 
week. Holy Thursday, or in Whitsun week, and I have 
no doubt was for the purpose of going a bannering the 
extensive boundaries of this franchise, which consists of 
eighteen parishes. It consisted of a man, who wore a 
hair-cloth gown, and was called the bailiff, a recorder, 
justices, town-clerk, sheriff, treasurer, crier, and other 
municipal officers. They were a large retinue of men 
and boys mounted on horseback, begirt with wooden 
swords, which they carried on their right sides, so that 
they must draw the swords out of the scabbards with 
their left hands. They, when I knew them, did not go 
the boundary, but used to call at all the gentlemen's 
houses in the franchise, where they were regaled with 
meat, drink, and money; and before the conclusion 



244 CUSTOM-RHYMES. 

they assembled at the pillory, at the guildhall, where 
the town-clerk read some sort of rigmarole which they 
called their charter, and I remember one part was — 

We go from Bickbury and Badger to Stoke on the Glee, 
To Monkhopton, Bound Acton, and so return we. 

Bickbury, Badger, and Stoke on the Glee, were and are 
the two extreme points of the franchise, north and 
south ; Monkhopton and Round Acton are two other 
parishes on the return from Stoke St. Millborough, 
otherwise Stoke on the Glee (or perhaps Milburga, the 
tutelar saint of the Abbey of Wenlock), to Much Wen- 
lock. This custom I conceiye to have originated in 
going a bannering, unless it should have been got up 
as a mockery to the magistracy of the franchise ; but 
I rather think the former." 

PACE-EGGING. 

It is a custom in some parts of England for boys to 
go round the village on Easter eve begging for eggs or 
money, and a sort of dramatic song is sometimes used 
on the occasion. The following copy was taken down 
from recitation some years ago in the neighbourhood of 
York; but in another version we find Lords Nelson 
and Gollingwood introduced, by a practice of adaptation 
to passing events, which is fortunately not extensively 
followed in such matters. A boy, representing a captain, 
enters and sings — 

Here's two or three jolly boys all o' one mind. 
We've come a pace-eggmg, and hope you'll be kind ; 
I hope you'U be kind with your eggs and your beer. 
And we'll come no more pace-eggmg untu the next year. 

Then old Toss-pot enters, and the captain, pointing him 

out, says — 

The first that comes in is old Toss-pot you see, 
A valiant old blade for his age and degree ; 
He is a brave fellow on liill or in dale, 
And all he delights in is a-drinking of ale. 



CUSTOM-RHYMES. 245 

ToBs-pot then pretends to take a long draught from a 
huge quart-pot, and, reeling about, tries to create laugh- 
ter by tumbling over as many boys as he can. A miser 
next enters, who is generally a boy dressed up as an old 
woman in tattered rags, with his face blackened. He 
is thus introduced by the captain : 

An old miser's the next that comes in with her bags. 
And to save up her money, wears nothing but rags. 

Chorus. Whatever you give us we claim for our right. 

Then bow with our heads, and wish you good night. 

This is repeated twice, and the performance concludes 
by the whole company shouting to the top of their 
voice — 

Now, ye ladies and gentlemen, who sit by the fire. 
Put your hands in your pockets, 'tis aU we desire ; 
Put your hands in your pockets, and lug out your purse, 
We shall be the better, you'll be none the worse ! 

"Pase-day, Easter-day. Pase-eggs, Easter-eggs. 
Corrupt, from Pasch. They have a proverbial rhyme 
in those parts for the Sundaies in Lent : 

Tid, Mid, Misera, 

Carl, Paum, good Pase-day." 

Xennett, MS. Lansd. 1033. 



COLLOP-MONDAY. 

CoUop Monday, 

Pancake Tuesday, 

Ash Wednesday, 

Bludee Thursday, 

Friday's lang, but will be dune. 

And hey for Saturday aftemune ! 

Verses for Shrove-tide, Collop-Monday being a North- 
country name for Shrove-Monday, because eggs and 
collops compose a standard dish for that day. At 

21 § 



246 CUSTOM-BUYBIES. 

Islip, in Oxfordshire, the childreh, on Sbrove-Tuesdaf, 
go round to the various houses to collect pence, saying : 

Pit-a-pat, the pan is hot. 

We are come a-shrovinff ; 

A little bit of bread and cheese 

Is better than nothing. 

The pan is hot, the pan is cold ; 

Is the fat in the pan nine days old ? 

'^ Collap Munday. — This time reminds me on a bit oy 
B consarn at happand abaght two year sin, to a chap at 
thay call Jeremiah Fadgemutton. This Jerry, yo mun 
naw, went ta see a yung womman, a sweetheart a hiz, 
an when he put hiz arms raand her neck ta gie her a 
cus, it happand shood been hevin sum fried bacon to 
her dinner, an fagettan ta wipe t' grease off on her 
magth at after. Thear hiz faice slip't off on her chin- 
end, an slap went hiz head reight throot winda, an cut 
tip ov hiz noaze off.'* — ^Yorkshire Dial. 

ISLE OF WIGHT SH ROVERS. 

UntQ within about the last thirty years, it had been 
the custom in the Isle of Wight from time immemorial 
at all the farms and some other charitable houses to 
distribute cakes on Shrove-Tuesday, called Shrove- 
cakes, to the poor children of the parish or neighbour- 
hood, who assembled early in the morning at the dif- 
ferent villages, hamlets, and cottages, in parties of from 
two to thirty or more, for the purpose of what was de- 
nominated " Going Shroving," and the children bore 
the name of Shrovers, At every house they visited they 
had a nice Shrove-cake each given them. In those days 
the winters were much more inclement and of longer du- 
ration than at the present time, and it often happened 
that, in addition to a severe frost, the ground was 
covered several inches high with snow, yet however 
cold or intense the weather, it did not prevent these 



CUSTOM-BHYMES, 247 

little ones from what they called in the proyincial dia- 
lect Ounne a Shravun, and they jogged merrily along 
hand in hand from one house to another to obtain their 
cakes ; but, before receiving them^ it was expected and 
deemed necessary that they should all sing together a 
song suitable to the occasion; those who sang the 
loudest were considered the best Shrovers, and some- 
times had an extra cake bestowed on them; conse- 
quendy, there was no want of noise (whateyer there 
might have been of harmony) to endeavour to get another 
Shroving gift. There were many different versions of 
the song according to the parishes they lived in. The 
one generally sang by the children of the East Medina 
was as follows : 

A Shrovun, a Shrovun, 

I be cum a Shrovun, 

A piece a bread, a piece a cheese, 

A oit a vour fat beyacun. 

Or a dish of doughnuts, 

Aal of your own meyacun ! 

A Shrovun, a Shrovun, 
I be cum a Shrovun, 
Nice meeat in a pie. 
My mouth is verrey dry ! 
I wish a wuz zoo well a-wet, 
I'd zing the louder for a nut !* 

Chorus, A Shrovun, a Shrovun, 
We be cum a Shrovun ! 

The song of the children of the West Medina was 
different : 

A Shrovun, a Shrovun, 
I be com a Shrovun, 
Linen stuff es good enuff, 
Vor we that cums a Shrovun. 

* Compoied of flour and lard* with plums in the middle, and made into 
round tutetancet about the size of a cricket-ball. They were called nuf or 
dou^nta*, and quite peculiar to the Isle of Wight. 



248 CUSTOM-KHYMES. 

Vine veathers in a pie. 
My mouth is verrey dry. 
I wish a wuz zoo well a-wet, 
Then I'd zing louder vor a nut ! 

Dame,* dame, a igg, a igg,t 
Or a piece a beyacun. 
Dro awaayj the porridge pot, 
Or crock to bwile the peeazun. 
Vine veathers in a pie. 
My mouth is verrey dry. 
I wish a wuz zoo well a-wet. 
Then Td zing louder vor a nut I 

Chorus, A Shrovun, a Shrovun, 
We be cum a Shrovun ! 

If the song was not given sufficiently loud, they were 
desired to sing it again. In that case it very rarely 
required a second repetition. When the Shrovers were 
more numerous than was anticipated, it not unfre- 
quently happened that, before the time of the arrival of 
the latter parties, the Shrove-cakes had been expended ; 
then dough-nuts, pancakes, bread and cheese, or bread 
and bacon, were given, or halfpence were substituted ; 
but in no instance whatever were they sent from the 
door empty-handed. It is much to be regretted that 
this charitable custom should have become almost ex- 
tinct ; there being very few houses at the present time 
where they distribute Shrove-cakes. 

" There was another very ancient custom somewhat 
similar to the Shroving, which has also nearly, if not 
quite, disappeared ; probably it began to decay within 
the last half-century : this was a gift of cakes and ale to 
children on New Year's Day, who, like the Shrovers, 
went 'from house to house singing for them ; but, if we 
may judge from the song, those children were for the 
most part from the towns and larger villages, as the 

* Dame. The mistress of the house, if past the middle a^e, waa called 
Dame, i. e. Madame, 
t An egg an egg j Throw away. 



CUSTOM-RHYMES* 249 

song begins, "A sale, a sale in our town;^* there is no 
doubt but it was written for tbe occasion some centuries 
since, when "a sale'' was not a thing of such a common 
occurrence as now, and when there was one, it was often 
held in an open field in or near the town/' So writes 
my kind and valoed correspondent. Captain Henry 
Smith, but town is, I think, merely a provincialism for 
village. It is so, at least, in the North of England. As 
for the phrase a sej/al, it seems to be a corruption of 
wassail, the original sense having been lost. The fol- 
lowing was the song : 

A seyal, a seyal in our town, 
The cup es white and the eal es brown ; 
The cup es meyad from the ashen tree, 
And the eal es brew'd vrom the good barlie. 

Chorus. Cake and eal, cake and eal, 

A piece of cake and a cup of eal ; 

We zing merrily one and aal 

Por a piece of cake and a cup of eal. 

Little maid, Uttle maid, troll the pin,* 

Lift up the latch and we'll aal vaJl in;f 

Ghee us a cake and zum eal that es brown, 

And we dont keer a vig vor the seyal in the town. 

Chorus, Will zing merrily one and aal 
Yor a cake and a cup of eal ; 
God be there and God be here. 
We wish you aal a happy New Year. 

The above was the original song, but within the last 
fifty or sixty years, as the custom began to fall off, the 
chorus or some other part was often omitted. 

* That is, turn the pin inside the door in order to raise the latch. In 
the old method of latching doors, there was a pin inside which was turned 
round to raise the latch. An old Isle of Wight song says, — 

Then John he arose. 
And to the door goes. 
And he trolled, and he trolled at the pin. 
The lass she took the hint. 
And to the door she went. 
And she let her true love in. 
t *' Aal vail in," stand in rank to receive in turn the cake and ale. 



2p0 CUSTOM-KHYMES. 



EABTER-GLOVES. 

Love, to thee I send these gloves, 

If you love me, 

Leave out the G, 
And make a pair of loves ! 

It appears . from Hall's Satires, 1598, that it wascnsto- 
mary to make presents of gloves at Easter. In Much 
Ado About Nothing, the Count sends Hero a pair of 
perfumed gloves, and they seem to have been a common 
present between lovers. In Devonshire, the young 
women thus address the first young man they happen to 
meet on St. Valentine's day — 

Good morrow, Valentine, I go to-day. 
To wear for you what you must pay, 
A pair of gloves next Easter-day. 

In Oxfordshire I have heard the following lines in- 
tended, I believe, for the same festival : 

The rose is red, the violet's blue. 
The giUy-flower sweet, and so are you ; 
These are the words you bade me say 
For a pair of new gloves on Easter-day. 

L£NT-CROCKING. 

Parties of young people, during Lent, go to the most 
noted farmhouses, and sing, in order to obtain a crock or 
cake, an old song beginning — 

I see bj the latch 

There is something to catch ; 

I see by the string 

The good dame's within ; 

Give a cake, for I've none ; 

At the door goes a stone. 

Come give, and I'm gone. 

"If invited in," says Mrs. Bray, "a cake, a cup of 



CUSTOM-BUYMES. 251 

cider, and a health followed. If not invited in, the 
sport consisted in battering the house door with stones, 
because not open to hospitality. Then the assailant 
would ran away, be followed and caught, and brought 
back again as prisoner, and had to undergo the punish- 
ment of roasting the shoe. This consisted in an old 
shoe being hung up before the fire, which the culprit 
was obliged to keep in a constant whirls roasting him- 
self as well as the shoe, till some damsel took compass 
sion on him, and let him go ; in this case he was to 
treat her with a little present at the next fair." 

CARE-SUNDAY. 

Care Sunday, care away. 
Palm Sunday and Easter-day. 

Care-Sunday is the Sabbath next before Palm Sunday, 
and the second before Easter. Etymologists differ re- 
specting the origin of the term. It is also called 
Carling-Sunday, and hence the Nottinghamshire couplet : 

Tid, Mid, Misera, 

Carling, Palm, Paste-egg day. 

APRIL-FOOL-DAY. 

The custom of making fools on the I st of April is one 
of the few old English merriments still in general vogue. 
We used to say on the occasion of having entrapped 
any one — 

Fool, fool, April fool, 

You learn nought by going to school 1 

The legitimate period only extends to noon, and if any 
one makes an April-fool after that hour, the boy on 
whom the attempt is made, retorts with the distich — ■ 

April-fool time's past and gone. 
You're the fool, and I'm none! 



252 t;USTOM-RHYMES. 



MAY-DAY. 

Bise up, fair maidens, fie, for shame. 
For I've been four lang miles from hame ; 
I've been gathering my garlands gay ; 
Bise up, fair maids, and take in your May. 

This old Newcastle May-day song is given by Brockett, 
ii. 32. At Islip, near Oxford, the children go round the 
village on this day with garlands of flowers, singing — 

Good morning, missus and measter, 

I wish you a happy day ; 
Please to smell my garland, 

'Cause it is the first of May. 

HARVEST-HOME, 

Here's a health unto our maister. 

The founder of the feast. 
And I hope to God wi' all my heart. 

His soul iu heaven mid rest. 

That everything mid prosper 

That ever he tiak in hand, 
Vor we be all his sarvants. 

And all at his command. 

These verses were sonaetimes said in proposing the 
health of the farmer at a harvest-home supper. Another 
version of them is given in Hone's Table Book, ii. 334. 
When they have had a fortunate harvest, and the pro- 
duce has been carried home without an accident, the 
following lines are sang at the harvest-home : 

Harvest home, harvest home. 
Ne'er a load's been overthrown. 

THE BARLEY MOW. 

Here's a health to the barley mow. 

Here's a health to the man. 

Who very well can 
Both harrow, and plough, and sow. 



C17ST0M-BHTMSS. 253 

When it is well sown, 

See it is weU mown, 
Both raked and gra^ell'd dean. 
And a bam to lay it in : 

Here's a health to the man, 
Who very well can 
Both thrash and fan it dean. 

all-souls' day. 

*' November 2iid is All Soals, a day institnted by the 
Church of Rome in commemoration of all the faithful 
departed this life, that by the prayers and sufirages of 
the living they may be discharged of their purging 
pain, and at last obtain life everlasting. To this pur- 
pose the day is kept holy till noon. Hence proceeds 
the custom of Soul-mass cakes, which are a kind of oat- 
cakes that some of the richer sort of persons in Lan- 
cashire and Herefordshire (among the Papists there) use 
still to give the poor on this day ; and they, in retribu- 
tion of their charity, hold themselves obliged to say 
this old couplet : 

" God have your saul, 
Beens and all." 

— Festa AngUhEomana^ 1678, p. 109. 

FIFTH OF NOVEMBER. 

The fifth of November, 
Since I can remember. 

Gunpowder treason and plot : 
This was the day the plot was contriv'd. 
To blow up the King and Parliament alive ; 
But God's meijj/ did prevent 
To save our King ana his Parliament. 

A stick and a stake 

Por King James's sake ! 
If you won t give me one, 

rll take two. 
The better for me. 

And the worse for you ! 

22 



254 OUSTOM-EHYMES. 

This is the Oxfordshire song chanted by the boys 
when collecting sticks for the bonfire^ and it is con- 
sidered quite lawful to appropriate any old wood they 
can lay their hands on after the recitation of these Hnes. 
If it happen that a crusty chuff prevents them, the 
threatening finale is too often fulfilled. The operation 
is called going a progging, but whether this is a mere 
corruption o£ prigging, or whether ^ro^^'n^ means col- 
lecting sticks {brog, Scot. Bor.), I am unable to decide. 
In some places they shout, previously to the burning 
of the effigy of Guy Fawkes — 

A penn'orth of bread to feed the Pope, 
A penn'orth of cheese to choke hmi; 

A pint of beer to wash it down. 
And a good old faggot to bom him. 

The metropolis and its neighbourhood are still annually 
visited by subdued vestiges of the old customs of the 
bonfire-day. Numerous parties of boys parade the 
streets with effigies of Guy Fawkes, but pence, not anti- 
popery, is the object of the exhibition, and the evening 
fires have generally been exchanged for the mischievous 
practice of annoying passengers with squibs and crackers. 
The spirit and necessity of the display have expired, 
and the lover of old customs had better be contented to 
hear of it in history; even although the special service 
for the day, still retained in our Prayer-book, may tend 
to recognise the propriety of external rejoicings. 

barbers' forfeits. 



laws for all faults. 



But faults so countenanc'd, that the strong statutes 
St-and like the forfeits in a barbef^s shop. 
As much in mocK as mark. 

Steevens and Henley, in their notes on Shakespeare, 
bear testimony to the fact that barbers were accustomed 
to expose in their shops a list of forfeits for misbe- 



CUSTOM-RHYMES. 255 

haviour, which were " as much iu mock as mark," be- 
cause the barber had no authority of himself to enforce 
them, and they were in some respects of a ludicrous na- 
ture. •* Barbers' forfeits," says Forby, in his Vocabulary 
of East Anglia, p. 119, "exist to this day in some, per- 
haps in many, village shops. They are penalties for 
handling the razors, &c., offences very likely to be com- 
mitted by lounging clowns, waiting for their turn to be 
scraped on a Saturday night or Sunday morning. They 
are still, as of old, ' more in mock than mark.' Certainly 
more mischief might be done two hundred years ago, 
"when the barber was also a surgeon." 

Dr. Kenrick* was the first to publish a copy of 
barbers' forfeits, and, as I do not observe it in any re- 
cent edition of Shakespeare, I here present the reader 
with the following homely verses obtained by the Doctor 
in Yorkshire : 

Mules for seemly Behaviour. 

First come, first serve — ^then come not late; 
And when arrived, keep your state; 
For he who from these rules shall swerve. 
Must pay theforfeiis — so observe. 

Who enters here with boots and spurs, 
Must keep his nook, for if he stirs, 
And give with armed heel a kick, 
A pint he pays for ev'ry prick. 

Who rudely takes another's turn, 
A forfeit mug may manners learn. 

Who reverentless shall swear or curse, 
Must lug seven farthings from his purse. 

Who checks the barber in his tale, 
Must pay for each a pot of ale. 

Who will or cannot miss his hat 
While trimming, pays a pint for that. 

* Review of Johnson's Shakespeare, 1765, p. 42. 



256 CUSTOM-BHTM£S« 

And he who can or will not pay. 
Shall hence be sent half-trimm'd awaj, 
For will he nill he, if in fault 
He forfeit must in meal or malt. 
But mark, who is alreads in drink. 
The cannikin must never clink ! 

It is not improbable that these lines had been partly 
modernized from an older original before they reached 
Dr. Kenrick, but Steevens was certainly too precipitate 
in pronouncing them to be forgeries. Their authenticity 
is placed beyond a doubt by the testimony of my late 
^end. Major Moor, who, in his Suffolk Words, p. 133, 
informs us that he had seen a yersion of these rules at 
the tonsor's, of Alderton, near the sea. 



COCKLE-BREAD. 

My granny is sick, and now is dead,* 
And we'll go mould some cockle-bread ; 
Up with my heels and down with my head. 
And this is the way to mould cockle-bread. 

A very old practice of young women, moving as if they 
were kneading dough, and repeating the above Hues, 
which are sometimes varied thus : 

Cockeldy bread, mistley cake. 
When you do that for our sake. 

The entire explanation of this, which is not worth 
giving here, may be seen in Thoms's Anecdotes and 
Traditions, p. 95. An allusion to cockle-bread occurs 
as early as 1595, in Peele's singular play of the Old 
Wives Tale. 



* Another version says, "and I wish she was dead, tliat I may go 
mould," <Scc., which, if correct, may be supposed to mean, '* Hy granny is 
ill, and I wish she war dead, that I may use a charm tot obtainii^ a 
husband." 



CUSTOM-RHYMES. 257 

A DRINKING CUSTOM. 

A pie sat on a pear tree, 
A pie sat on a pear tree, 
A pie sat on a pear tree. 
Heigh ho ! heigh ho ! heigh ho ! 

These lines are sung by a person at the table after 
dinner. His next neighbour then sings " Once so mer- 
rily hopped she," during which the first singer is obliged 
to drink a bumper ; and should he be unable to empty 
Lis glass before the last line is sung, he must begin again 
till he succeeds. The next line is " Twice so merrily 
hopped she," sung by the next person under a similar 
arrangement, and so on ; beginning again after " Thrice 
80 merrily hopped she, heigh ho ! heigh ho ! heigh ho !" 
till the ceremony has been repeated around the table. 
It is to be hoped so absurd a practice is not now in 
fashion. 

"When a boy finds anything, and another sees him 
stoop for it, if the latter cries halves before he has picked 
it up, he is, by schoolboy law, entitled to half of it. 
This right may, however, be negatived, if the finder 
cries out first — 

Ricket, racket, find it, tack it. 
And niver give it to the aunder. 

Or, sometimes the following : 

No halfers, 
Findee, keepee ; 
Lossee, seekee. 

Boys leaving the schoolroom are accustomed to 
shout — 

Those that go my way, butter and eggs, 
Those that go your way chop off then: legs. 

A sort of persuasive inducement, I suppose, for them 
to follow the speaker for the sake of forming a party 
for a game. 

22 § 



258 



XL— NURSERY-SONGS. 

The earliest and simplest form in which the nnrsery 
song appears is the lullaby, which may be defined a 
gentle song used for the purpose of inducing sleep. 
The term was generally, though not excluaiyely, confined 
to nurses: 

Fhilomel, with mdody 
Sinff in our sweet limaby ; 
Lima» iulla, lullaby ; 
LnUa, lulls, lullaby. 

The et3nsiology is to be sought for in the verb lull, to 
sing gently, which Douce thinks is connected with 
XaXew or XaXXi^. One of the earliest nursery lullabies 
that haye descended to our day occurs in the play of 
Philotimus, 1583 : 

Trylle the ball againe my Jacke, 
And be contente to make some play. 

And I will lull thee on my lappe. 
With hey be bird now say not nay. 

Another is introduced into the comedy of Patient 
Grissel, printed in the year 1603 : 

Hush, hush, hush, hush ! 
And I dance mine own child. 
And I dance mme own child. 

Hush, hush, hush, hush ! 

BILLY, MY SON. 

The following lines are yery common in the English 
nursery, and resemble the popular German dit^ of 
Grandmother Addercook, inserted in the Knaben Wun- 
derhom, and translated by Dr. Jamieson in the lUas- 
trations of Northern Antiquities. The ballad of the 
Crowden Doo, Chambers, p. 205, bears, howeyer, a far 
greater similarity to the German song. Compare, also. 



NUBSEfiY-SONGS. 259 

the ballad of Willie Doo, in Buchan's Ancient Songs, 
ii. 179. 

Where have you been to-day, Billy, my son ? 
Where have you been to-day, my only man P 
I've been a wooing, mother, make my bed soon, 
For Tm sick at heturt, and fain would lay down. 

What have you ate to-day, BiUy, my son ? 
What have you ate to-day, my onlv man P 
I've ate eel-pie, motlier, make mv bed soon, 
I^or I'm sick at heart, and shall oie before noon. 

It is said there is some kind of a fairy legend con- 
nected with these lines, Billy having probably been 
visited by his mermaid mother. Nothing at all satisfac- 
tory has, however, yet been produced. It appears to 
bear a slight analogy to the old baUad, " Where have you 
been all the day, my boy Willie," printed from a version 
obtained from Suffolk, in the Nursery Rhymes of 
England, p. 146 ;* and on this account we may here 

* Another version ma obtained ftom Yorkshire : 

Where have you been all the day, 

My boy BUIy ? 
Where have you been all the day. 

My boy Billy ? 
I have been all the day 
Courting of a lady gay ; 
Although she Is a young thing, 
And just come from her mammy f 

Is she fit to be thy love. 

My boy Billy ? 
She is as fit to be my love. 
As my hand is for my glove. 
Although she is, &c. 

Is she fit to be thy wife. 

My boy Billy? 
She is as fit to be my wife, 
As my blade is for my knife i 
Although she is, &c. 

How old may she be. 

My boy Billy } 
Twice six, twice seven. 
Twice twenty and eleven i 
Although she is, &c* 



260 NURSEBY-SOKGS. 

insert a copy of the pretty Scottish ballad. Tammy's 
Courtship : 

Oh, where ha' ye been a' day. 

My boy Tammy P 
Where ha' ye been a' day. 

My boy Tammy ? 
I've been by bum and flow'ry brae, 
Meadow green and mountain gray. 
Courting o' this yoimg thing, 

Just come frae her mammy. 

And where gat ye that young thing, 

My boy Tammy P 

And where gat ye that young thing, 

My boy Tammy P 

I gat her down in yonder how. 

Smiling on a broomy knowe. 

Herding ae wee lamb and ewe 
For her poor mammy. 

What said you to the bonny bairn. 

My boy Tammy P 

What said you to the bonny bairn. 

My hioy Tammy P 

I praised her een sae lovely blue. 

Her dimpled cheek and cherry mou' ; 

I preed it aft, as ye may trow — 

She said she'd tell her mammy. 

I held her to my beating breast. 

My young, my smiling lamrny; 

I held her to my beating breast. 

My young, my smiling lammy : 

I hae a house, it cost me dear, 

I've wealth o' plenishing and gear, 

Ye'se get it a', war't ten times mair. 

Gin ye will leave your mammy. 

The smile gaed aff her bonny face, 

i maunna leave my mammy ; 

The smile gaed aff her bonny face, 

imaunna leave my mammy : 

She's gi'en me meat, she's gi'en me claise. 

She's been my comfort a* my days ; 

My father's death brought mony waes — 
I canna leave my mammy. 



NUBSEBY-SONGS. 261 

We'll tak' her hame, and mak' her fain. 
My ain kind-hearted lammy ; 

We'll tak' her hame, and mak' her fain. 
My ain kind-hearted lammy : 

We'll me her meat, we'll gie her claise. 

We'll De her comfort a' her days ; 

The wee thing gi'es her han', and says — 

There ! gang and ask my mammy. 

Has she been to the kirk wi' thee. 

My boy Tammy ? 

Has she been to the kirk wi thee. 

My boy Tammy ? 

She's been to kirk wi* me. 

And the tear was in her e'e ; 

But, oh ! she's but a young thing. 

Just come frae her mammy ! 

The ballad of Lord Randal, printed by Sir Walter 
Scott, may, after all, furnish the true solution to the 
meaning of our nursery rhyme, and I am therefore in- 
duced to insert a version of it still popular in Scotland^ 
in which the hero of the song is styled Laird Rowland : 

Ah I where have you been, Lairde Rowlande, my son? 
Ah! where have you been, &c. 

I've been in the wild-woods, 
Mither, mak m^ bed soon. 
For I'm weary wi' hunting, 
And faine would lie down. 

Oh! you've been at your true love's, Lairde Rowlande,my son! 
Oh ! you've been at your true love's, &c. 
I've lieen at my true love's, 

Mither, mak my bed soon. 
For I'm weary wi' hunting. 
And faine would He down. 

What got you to dinner, Lairde Rowlande, my son ? 
What got you to dinner, &o. 

I got eels boil'd in brue, 

Mither, mak my bed soon. 
For I'm weary wi' hunting. 
And faine would lie down. 



262 NURSERY- SONGS. 

What's become of your Warden, Lairde Kowlande, my son? 
What's become of your Warden, &c. 

He died in the muirlands, 

Mither, mak my bed soon, 
For I'm weary wi' hunting, 
And faine would lie down. 

What's become of your stag-hounds, LairdeRo wlande, my son ? 
What's become of your stag-hounds, &c. 
They swelled and they died ! 
Mither, mak my bed soon, 
For I'm weary wi hunting. 
And faine would lie down. 

The fable or plot of this seems to be, that Lord Bow- 
lande, upon a visit at the castle of his mistress, has been 
poisoned by the dnigged viands at the table of her father, 
who was averse to her marriage with the lord. Finding 
-himself weary, and conscious that he is poisoned, he 
returns to his home, and wishes to retire to his chamber 
without raising in his mother any suspicions of the state 
of his body and mind. This may be gathered from 
his short and evasive answers, and the importunate 
entreaties with which he requests his mother to prepare 
his chamber. 

In Swedish there are two distinct versions : one, the 
Child's Last Wishes, in Geijer and Afzelius^ iii. 13, 
beginning— 

Hvar bar du varit sa lange, 

Dotter, liten kind ? 
Jag har varit hos min Amma, 

iCar styf-moder min ! 
For aj aj I ondt hafver jag— jag J 

Where hast thou been so long now. 

My sweet wee little child ? 
Sure with my nurse I've tarried. 

My own step-mother mild ! 
For oh ! oh ! sore pains have I — I! 

The second is in Afzelius, ii. 90, under the same 
title, and beginning — 



NURSERY-SONGS. 263 

Hvar har du va't sa liinge, 

Lilla dotter kiud P 
Jag har va't i Eanne, 
H09 broderen min ! 

Aj, aj, ondt hafver jag, jag ! 

Where hast thou been so long now. 

Wee Kttle daughter fine ? 
In Banne have I tarried, 

With brother mine! 
Oh! oh ! sore pains have I — I! 

Both are sung to exquisitely melancholy melodies. 

Dr. Jamieson makes some very just observations on 
this ballad, and the importance of tracing this class of 
tales. " That any of the Scotch, English, and German 
copies of the same tale have been borrowed or trans- 
lated from another, seems very improbable; and it 
would now be in vain to attempt to ascertain what it ori- 
ginally was, or in what age it was produced. It has had 
the good fortune in every country to get possession of the 
nursery, a circumstance which, from the enthusiasm and 
curiosity of young imaginations, and the communicative 
volubility of little tongues, has insured its preservation. 
Indeed, many curious relics of past times are preserved 
in the games and rhymes found amongst children, 
which are on that account by no means beneath the 
notice of the curious traveller, who will be surprised to 
find, after the lapse of so many ages, and so many 
changes of place, language, and manners, how little 
these differ among different nations of the same original 
stock, who have been so long divided and estranged 
from each other." 

MY COCK LILY-COCK. 

An inferior version of the following, which was ob- 
tained from Essex, is printed in Mr. Chambers's Popular 
Rhymes of Scotland, ed. 1847, p. 190. A Swedish 
version, or rather a variation, in Lilja, p. 17, commences 



264 NUBSEKY-SON6S. 

as follows : ^' I served a farmer for four years, and he 
paid me with a hen. ' Skrock, skrock !' said my hen. 
I served a farmer for four years, and he paid me with a 
cock. 'Kucklilol' said my cock. ' Skrock, skrock !' 
said my hen, &c." 

I had a cock, and a cock Wd me. 
And I fed my cock mider a hollow tree ; 

My cock cried — cock-cock-coo — 
Every body loves their cock, and I love my cock too ! 

I had a hen, and a hen lov'd me. 
And I fed my hen under a hollow tree ; 
My hen went — chickle-chackle, chickle-chackle— j 

My cock cried— cock-cock-coo— I 

Every body loves their cock, and I love my cock too*! 

I had a goose, and a goose lov'd me, j 

And I fed my goose .imder a hollow tree ; j 

My goose went — jua'k, qna'k — 

My hen went — chickle-cKaclde, chickle-chackle — ' 

My cock cried — cock-cock-coo — -'/ 

Eveiy body loves their cock, and I love my cock too! .:<r* 

I had a duck, and a duck lov'd me. 
And I fed my duck under a hollow tree ; 

My duck went — quack, quack, quack — 

My goose went — qua% qua'k-r 

My hen went— chickle-chackle, chickle-chackle — 
My cock cried— rcock-cock-coo— 
Every body loves their cock, and I love my cock too! 

I had a drake, and a drake lov'd me. 
And I fed my drake under a hollow tree ; 

My drake went — ca-qua» <5a-qua, ca-atia— ' 

"N^ duck went— quack, quack, quacE — 

My goose went— njua'k, qua'k, qua'lc — 

My hen went — chickle-chackle, c^ckle-chackle — 
My cock cried — cock-cock-coo — 
Eveiy body loves their cock, and I love my cock too ! . i 

I had a cat, and a cat lov'd me, ,: 

And I fed my cat under a hollow tree ; I 

My cat went — miow, miow, miow — * 
My drake went— ca-qua, ca-qua, ca-qua — 



NUESEBY-SONGS. 265 

My duck went — quack, quack, quack — 
Mj f^se went — ^ua'k, qua'k, qua'k — 
My hen went — chickle-chackle, chickle-chackle — 
Mv cock cried — cock-cock-coo — 
Eyery body loves their cock, and I love my cock too ! 

I had a dog, &c. My dog went — ^bow, wow, wow — 

I had a cow, &c. My cow went — ^moo, moo, moo — 

I had a sheep, &c. My sheep went — ^baa, baa, baa — 

I had a donkey, &c. My donkey went — hi-haugh, hi-haugh — 

I had a horse, &c.; My horse went — ^whin-neigh-h-h-h-h — 

I had a pig, and a pig lov'd me. 

And I fed my pig under a hollow tree ; 

And my pig went — ^hoogh, hooffh,hoogh— 

My horse went — ^whin-neigh-h-h-h-h — 

My donkey went — ^hi-haugh, hi-haugh — 

My sheep went — ^baa, baa, baa — 

My cow went — ^moo, moo, moo — 

My dog went — bow, wow, wow^ 

My cat went — ^miow, miow, miow — 

My drake went — ca-qua, ca-aua, ca-qua— 

My duck went — quack, quack, quack — 

My goose went — qua'k, qua'k, qua'k — 

My hen went — chickle-chackle, chickle-chackle — 
My cock cried — cock-cock-coo — 
Every body loves their cock, and I love my cock too! 

And so the pi^ — grunted. 
The horse — ^neigh^. 
The donkey — ^bray'd, 
The sheep — ^bleated. 
The cow — ^loVd, 
The dog— bark'd. 
The cat — ^mew'd. 
The drake — quackled. 
The duck— cackled. 
The eoose — gobbled. 
The hen — chuckled. 
The cock— <ax)w'd — 
And my cock cried — cock-cock-coo! — 
Every body loves their cock, and I love my cock too ! 

23 



266 NUESERY-SONGS. 

JACK SPRAT. 

Fragments of this tale are common in the nursery, 
but I have only met with one copy of the following 
poem, which appears to be of some antiquity, although 
it is here printed from a modern chap-book : 

Jack Sprat could eat no fat. 

His wife could eat no lean, 
And so between them both. 

They licked the platter clean. 
Jack eat all the lean, 
Joan eat all the fat, 
The bone they picked clean. 

Then gave it to the cat. 
When Jack Sprat was young. 

He dressed very smirt. 
He courted Joan Cole, 

And he gained her heart. 
In his fine leather doublet, 

And old greasy hat, 
Oh, what a smatft fellow 
Was Uttle Jack Sprat ! 
Joan Cole had a hole 

In her petticoat. 
Jack Sprat, to get a patch. 

Gave her a groat ; 
The groat bought a patch, 
W^ich stopped the hole, 
"I thank you. Jack Sprat," 

Says Httle Joan Cole. ^ 
Jack Sprat was the bridegroom, 

Joan Cole was the bride. 
Jack said, from the church. 

His Joan home should ride. 
But no coach could take her. 

The lane was so narrow. 
Said Jack, then Til take her 

Home in a wheelbarrow. 
Jack Sprat was wheeling 
His wife by the ditch. 



NURSERY-SONGS. 26/ 



The barrow turned over. 

And in she did pitch ; 
Says Jack, she'll be drown'd. 

But Joan did reply, 
I don't think I shall. 

For the ditch is quite dry. 
Jack brought home nis Joan, 

And she sat in a chair. 
When in came his cat. 

That had got but one ear. 
Says Joan, r m come home. Puss, 

Pray, how do you do ? 
The cat wagg'd her tail. 

And said nothing but ''mew." 
Jack Sprat took his gun. 

And went to the brook. 
He shot at the drake. 

But he killed the duck. 
He brought it to Joan, 

Who a fire did make 
To roast the fat duck, 

While Jack went for the drake. 
The drake was swimming 

With his curly tail. 
Jack Sprat came to shoot him. 

But nappened to fall ; 
He let on nis gun. 

But missing nis mark. 
The drake flew away, 

Ciying, " Quack, quack, quack. 
Jack Sprat to live prettj. 

Now bought him a pig, 
It was not very little. 

It was not very big ; 
It was not very lean, 

It was not very fat. 
It will serve for a grunter 

For little Jack Sprat. 
Then Joan went to market 

To buy her some fowls. 
She bought a jackdaw 

And a couple of owls. 



)f 



268 NtJBSEBT-SONGS. 

The owls they were white, 

The jackdaw was black. 
They'll make a rare breed. 

Says little Joan Sprat. 
Jack Sprat bought a cow. 

His Joan for to please. 
For Joan she could make 

Both butter and cheese ; 
Or pancakes or puddings. 

Without any fat : 
A notable housewife 

Was little Joan Sprat. 
Joan Sprat went to brewing 

A barrel of ale, 
She put in some hops 

That it might not turn st-ale ; 
But as for the malt. 

She forgot to put that,' 
This is brave sober liquor. 

Said little Jack Sprat. 
Jack Sprat went to market, 

And bought him a mare. 
She was lame of three legs. 

And as blind as she could stare ; 
Her ribs they were bare. 

For the mare had no fat. 
She looks like a racer, 

Says little Jack Sprat. 
Jack and Joan went abroad. 

Puss took care of the house. 
She caught a large rat 

And a very small mouse : 
She caught a small mouse. 

And a very large rat ; 
You're an excellent hunter. 

Says little Jack Sprat. 
Now I have told you the story 

Of Uttle Jack Sprat, 
And little Joan Cole, 

And the poor one-ear'd cat. 
Now Jack loved Joan, 

And good things he taught her. 



KUE8EBT-80KG8. 269 

Then she gave him a son, 

Then alter a daughter. 
Now Jack has got rich 

And has plenty of pelf; 
If you know any more, 

xou may tell it yourself. 

DABBLING IN THE DEW. 

The followiDg pretty ballad appears to be a hamorous 
imitation of an Elizabethan eclogue-song. Its style 
goarantees its antiquity : 

Oh, where are you going. 

My pretty maiden fair, 
With your red rosy cheeks. 

Ana your coal-black hair ? 
I'm ^in^ a-milking, 

Kmd sir, says she ; 
And it's dabbling in the dew, 

Where you'll find me. 

May I go with you. 

My pretty maiden fair, &c. 
Oh, you may go with me, 

Kmd sir, says she, &c. 

If I should chance to kiss you, 
. My pretty maiden fair, &c. 
The wmd may take it off again. 
Kind sir, says she, &c. 

If I should chance to lay you down. 

My pretty maiden fair, &c. 
Then you must pick me up again, 

Kind sir, says she, &c. 

If 1 should chance to run away, 

My pretty maiden fair, &c. 
The De'd may then run away wi'you. 

Kind sir, says she, &c. 

And what is your father. 

My pretty maiden fair, &c. 
My fatner is a farmer. 

Kind sir, says she, &c. 

23$ 



270 NDBSKftT^SONG8« 

And what is your motherj 
My prettjf maiden fair, Ac. 

Mymother is a daiiy-nuods 
Kind sir, says she> &c. 

And what is your sweetheart, 
My. pretty maiden fair, &c. 

William the carpenter. 
Kind sir, says, she, &c. 



There was an old oonple, and they were poor. 

Fa hi^ fa la la lee ! 
They liyed in a honse that bad bat one door; 
Cfh ! what a poor oonple were they. 

The old man once be went hi from his home, 

Fa la, & la la lee ! 
The old woman afraid was to stay alone. 
Oh ! what a weak woman was she. 

The old man he came home at last. 

Fa la, fa la la lee ! 
And fonnd the windows and door all fast. 
Oh ! what is the matter P quoth he. 

Oh ! I have been sick since yoa have been gone ; 

Fa la, fa la hi lee ! 
If yon'd been in the garden you'd heard me groan; 
Oh ! I'm sorry for that, quoth he. 

I have a request to make unto thee ; 

Fa la, fa la la lee ! 
To pluck me an apple from yonder tree. 
Ay, that will I, marry, quoth he. 

The old man tried to get up in the tree^ 

Fa la, fa la la lee! 
But the ladder it fell, and down tumbled he. 
That's cleverly done ! said she. 

HEY DIDDLE DIDDLE !* 

Hey diddle diddle. 
The cat scraped the fiddle. 
The cow jump'd over the moon; 

* The above ingenious tianslaUon and remarks were communicated bf 
Mr. George Burget. 



NUBSEBY-80N6S. 271 

The little dog bayed 
To see such sports placed, 
And the dish ran away with the spoon. 

nag yaXfj \vpav irpifitf 
BovQ hi niivi^v vvepeirrjSa' 
Kvvihwv d' ecXay^ev, av, av, 
UaiSidv y bpdv TOidvdSf 
Kai Topvvfiv 
*E^wy6 KophovoQ \aPiav, 

The unmeaning ** Hey diddle diddle" is a corruptiou 
of the very intelligible ^A5' a6ij\o, i^\o V fhe, which 
is literally "Sing words not clear, and Sing words 
clear ;" with which may be compared a Sibylline verse 
in Greek, A^Xos ap* 6uk en b^Xos* abtiXa be irdyra ra 
AlfXov, 

TOMMY LINN, 

Tommy Linn is a Scotchman bom. 
His head is bald and his beard is shorn ; 
He has a cap made of a hare skin, 
An alderman is Tommy Linn. 

Tommy Linn has no boots to put on. 
But two calves' skins, and the hair it was on.' 
They are open at the side and the water goes in : 
Unwholesome boots, says Tommy Linn. 

Tommy Linn no bridle had to put on. 
But two mouse's tails that he put on; 
Tommy Linn had no saddle to put on. 
But two urchin skins, and them he put on. 

Tonmiy Linn's daughter sat on the stair, 
Oh, dear father, gin I be not fair ? 
The stairs they broke, and she fell in. 
You're fair enough now, says Tommy Linn. 

Tommy Linn had no watch to put on. 

So he scooped out a turnip to make lumself one ; 

He caught a cricket, and put it within; 

It's my own ticker, says Tommy Linn. 

Tommy Linn, his wife, and wife's mother. 
They all fell into the fire together ; 



2/2 NUB8EE,Y*80NOS. 

Oh, said the topmost, IVe got a hot skin : 
It's hotter below, says Tommy Liim. 

An immense ?ariety of songs and catches relating to 
Tommy Linn are known throughout the country. The 
air of Thom of Lyn is one of those mentioned in the 
Comphiynt of Scotland, 1549* See Chambers, p. 192, 
who gives a Scotch version of the above song. The 
song itself is quoted in Wager's play, 'The longer 
thou livest the more foole thou art,' written about the 
year 1560. Dr. Leyden conjectures that the hero is the 
same with Tamlene, who is introduced into a well-known 
fairy ballad published by Sir W. Scott. 

THE BEGGARS OF RATCLIFFE FAIR. 

As I went to Eatcliffe Fair, there I met with a jolly begg&re, 
JoUy begff^, and his name was John, and his wife's name 
was Jumpmg Joan ; 

So tnere was. John and Jumping Joan, 
Merry companions every one. 

As I went to Eatcliffe Fair, there I met with a jolly be^^ 
Jolly beggdre, and his name was Bichard, and his wifeVname 
was mxB. Ap Kichard ; 

So there was Eichard, and Mrs. Ap Bichard, 
And there was John and Jumping Joan, 
Merry companions every one. 

As I went to Eatcliffe Fair, there I met with a joU^ begg&ie. 
Jolly begdbre, and his name was Eobert, and his wife's name 
was Mrs. Ap Eobert; 

So there was Eobert and Mrs. Ap Eobert, 
And there was Eichard and Mrs. Ap Eichard, 
And there was John and Jumping Joan, 
Meny companions every one. 

As I went to Eatcliffe Fair, there I met with a jolli^ begg4re. 
Jolly beggdre, and his name was Eice, and his vnfe's name 
was Mrs. Ap Eice ; 

So there was Eice and Mrs. Ap Eice, 
And there was Eichard and Mrs. Ap Eichard, 
And there was Eobert and Mrs. Ap Eobert, 
And there was John and Jumping Joan, 
Merry companions every one. 



NURSEAY-SONGS. 273 

As I went to Batclife Fair, there I met with a joll^ beggdre. 
Jolly beggare, and his name was Jones, and his wife's name 
was Mrs. Ap Jones ; 

So there was Jones and Mrs. Ap Jones, 
And there was Eice and Mrs. Ap Bice, 
And there was Robert and Mrs. Ap Eobert, 
And there was Richard and Mrs. Ap Richard, 
And there was John and Jumping Joan, 
Merry companions every one. 

As I went to Ratcliffe Fair, there I met with a jolly beggare. 
Jolly beg^4re, and his name was Lloyd, and his iinfe's name 
was Mrs. Ap Lloyd ; 

So there was Lloyd and Mrs. Ap Lloyd, 
And there was Jones and Mrs. Ap Jones, 
And there was Rice and Mrs. Ap Rice, 
And there was Robert and Mrs. Ap Robert,. 
And there was Richard and Mrs. Ap Ridiainl, 
And there was John and Jumping Joan, 
Merry companions every one. 

As I went to Ratcliffe Fair, there I met with a jolly hegg&ee. 
Jolly beggdre, and his name was Owen, and his ^e's naioe 
was Mrs. Ap Owen ; 

So there was Owen and Mrs. Ap Owen, 
And there was Lloyd and Mrs. Ap Lloyd, 
And there was Jones and Mrs. Ap Jones, 
And there was Rice and Mrs. Ap Rice, 
And there was Robert and Mrs. Ap Robert, 
And there was Richard and Mrs. Ap Richard, 
And there was John and Jumping Joan, 
Merry companions every one. 

As I went to Ratcliffe Fair, there I met with a jolly begg^. 
Jolly beggdre, and his name was Lewin, and his wife's name 
was Mrs. Ap Lewin ; 

So there was Lewin and Mrs. Ap Lewin, 
And there was Owen and Mrs. Ap Owen, 
And there was Lloyd and Mrs. Ap Lloyd, 
And there was Jones and Mrs. Ap Jones, 
And there was Rice and Mrs. Ap Rice, 
And there was Robert and Mrs. Ap Robert, 
Aad there was Richard and Mrs. Ap Richard, 
And there was John and Jumping Joan, 
Merry companions every one. 



274 NURSEBY-SONGS. 

As I went to Ratdiffe Pair, there I met with a joUj beegare. 
Jolly beggare, and liis name was Shenkyn, and his wife^ name 
was Mrs. Ap Shenkyn ; 

So there was Shenk^ and Mrs. Ap Shenkyn, 
And there was Lewm and Mrs. Ap Lewin, 
And there was Owen and Mrs. Ap Owen, 
And there was Lloyd and Mrs. Ap Lloyd, 
And there was Jones and Mrs. Ap Jones, 
And there was Bice and Mrs. Ap Bice, 
And there was Bobert and Mrs. Ap Bobert, 
And there was Bichard and Mrs. Ap Bichard, 
And there was John and Jumping Joan, 
Merry companions eveiy one. 

As 1 went to Batcliffe Fair, there I met with a jolly beggare. 
Jolly beggdre, and his name was Howell, and his wife's name 
was Mrs. Ap Howell; 

So there was Howell and Mrs. Ap Howell, 
And there was Shenkyn and Mrs. Ap Shenkyn, 
And there was Lewin and Mrs. Ap Lewin, 
And there was Owen and Mrs. Ap Owen, 
' And there was Lloyd and Mrs. Ap Lloyd, 
And there was Jones and Mrs. Ap Jones, 
And there was Bice and Mrs. Ap Bice, 
And there was Bobert and Mrs. Ap Bobert, 
And there was Bichard and Mrs. Ap Bichard, 
And there was John and Jumping Joan, 
Merry companions every one. 

This singular accumulative tale produces great amuse- 
ment amongst children when rapidly repeated. Mr. 
Chambers, p. 197, has given a Scotch version, very 
different from the above, commencing— 

The first time that I gaed to Coudingham fair, 

I fell in with a jolly oeggar ; 

The beggar*s name it was Harry, 

And he had a wife, and they ca'd her Mary : 

O Mary and Harry, and Harry and Mary, 

And Janet and John, 

That's the beegars one by one ; 

But now I wul gie you them pair by pair, 

All the brave beggars of Couaingham fair. 



275 



CONCLUSION. 



OuE collection of vernacular scraps, which, like the 
**brave beggars of Coudinghatn fair," have been gathered 
from the lanes and by-ways, is now brought to a con- 
clusion. They are, it must be confessed, but literary 
vagrants at the best ; but they breathe of country fresh- 
ness, and may impart some of their spirit to our 
languishing home-life. The cottage without its tradi- 
tional literature is but a poor feature in the landscape 
that is loved by the poet. The legend or antique rhyme 
emanating from its door expresses a characteristic he 
would not willingly see perish. It may be that little of 
this now remains in England, but the minutest indica- 
tions should be carefully chronicled ere they disappear. 

Many of the fragments in the preceding pages are, 
in fact, rather indications of what formerly existed than 
complete specimens of their class. It is beyond a doubt 
that, two centuries ago, our rural districts were rich in 
all kinds of popular and traditional literature, in legends 
and ancient rhymes. Unfortunately, the antiquaries 
of the old school considered such matters beneath their 
notice ; and instead of conferring a very important be- 
nefit on literature by preserving them, occupied a great 
portion of their time in essays of very questionable 
utility. It thus happened that allusions in our old 
poets, intelligible enough in those days, became enigmas 
when the memory of these trifles disappeared. We 
should fall into a simQar error did we neglect those 
which still remain^ merely because their value is not 



276 

always immediately apparent, or be alarmed at a sug- 
gestion that we are '^ suckling fools, and chronicling 
small beer." 

Let us hope the reader may view these trifles with 
more indulgence, and enlist his sympathies with our 
own ; for if literary value is insisted upon as the sole 
use of their publication, the critic may require an abler 
apologist. He may refuse to admit the importance of 
preserving a large collection for the sake of the few 
which may illustrate the works of our ancient authors. 
But we trust this opinion will not be general; that 
their natural simplicity will compensate in some respects 
for deficiency of literary elegance ; and that the univer- 
sal and absorbing prevalence of one pursuit has not put 
to flight all kindly memory of the recreations of a hap- 
pier age : 

The sports of childhood's roseate dawn * 
Have passed from our hearts like the dew-gems from morn: 
We have parted with marbles-r-we own not a ball. 
And are deaf to the hail of a " whoop and a calL'* 
But there's an old game that we all keep np. 
When we've drank much deeper from life's mixed cup ; 
Youth may have vanished, ana manhood come round. 
Yet how Dusv we are on " Tom Tidler's ground 
Looking for gold and silver !" 



PIKIS. 



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llwell has careftilly revised tlie new edition, and increased its utility by Uie addition of a 
oomplele and cwreet glossary,'* — Literarff Oazette. 

Torrent of Portugal ; an English Metrical Ro- 
mance, now first published, from an nniqne MS. of the XYth century, 
preserved in the Chetham Library at Manchester, edited by J. O. Halli- 
WBLLi &c. post 8vo. cloth, unffbrm with Bitson, Weber, and Ellis^s 

publications, bs 

** This is a valuable and interesting addition to our list of early English metrical 
lomances, and an indispensable companion to the collections ^of Bitson, Weber, and 
WtUBJ^—LUerary Gazette. 

" A literaiy curiosity, and one both welcome and serviceable to the lover of black- 
letter lore. Though the obsoleteness of the style may occusion sad stumbling to a modem 
reader, yet the iclaas to irhich it rightly belongs will value it accordingly ; both because it 
is curious In its details, and possesses philological importance. To the general reader it 
presents one ftatore, vis. the rdhrenoe to Wayland Smith, whom Sir W. Scott has invested 
with so much interest."— JlfetropoJi^an Magazine. 

The Harrowing of Hell, a Miracle Play, written in 

the Reign of Edward II., now first published from the Original in the 
British Museum, with a Modem Reading, Introduction, and Notes, by 
Jambs O&chakd Halliwell, Esq. F.R.S., F.S.A., &c. 8yo. sewed, 2s 

This curious piece is supposed to be the earliest specimen of dramatic composition in 
the English Langnacre ; vids Hallam's literature of Europe, Vol. I. ; Strutt's Manners 
and Customs, VoL II. ; Warton's English Poetry ; Sharon Turner's England : Collier's 
History of English Dramatic Poetry, Vol. II. p. 218. All these writers refer to the 
Manueeript. 

Nugee Poeticae ; Select Pieces of Old English 

Popular Poetry, illustrating the Manners and Arts of the XYth Century, 

edited by J. O. Halliwell, post Svo. only 100 copies printed, cloth, bs 

CknUente t—Coljn Blowbols Ttetament; the Debate of the Carpenter's Tools ; the 

Merchant and his Son ; tlie iCaid and the Magpie; Elegy on Lobe, Henry Vlllth's Fool ; 

Bomanoe of Robert of Sicily, aiMl^tw other eurUme pieees of tlie same hind. 

Reliques of Irish Jacobite Poetry, with Interlinear 

Translations, and Biographical Sketches of the Anthers, and Notes by 
J. Dalt, also English Metrical Versions by £* Walsh, 8vo. parts 1 and 2, 
(all yet published,) 2s 



4 John Russell Smith, i, Old Compton Street, Soho, 

Rara Mathematica ; or a Collection of Treatises on 

the Mathematics and Subjects connected nvith them, from ancient inedited 
MSS. by J. O. Halliwell, 8vo. Second Edition, cloth, Ss 6d 
Content* : JohannU de Sacro-Bosco Tractatas de Arte Numerasdi ; Method vMd In 
England in the Fifteenth Century for taking the Altitude of a Steeple; Treatise on the Nn- 
meration of Algorism; TreMixe on Glasses for Optical Purposes, hy W. Bourne; Jobannis 
Robyns de Cometis Commentaria ; Two Tables showing the time of High Water at 
London Bridgn, and the Duration of Moonlight, from a MS. of the Thirteenth Oentary ; on 
the Mensuration of Heights and Distances; Alexaodri de Villa Dei Carmen de Algorismo; 
Preface to a Calendar or Almanack for 1490 ; Johannis Norfolk in Artem progreasionia 
summula ; Notes on Early Almanacs, by the Editor, jcc &c. 

Popular Errors in English Grammar, particularly 

in Pronunciation, familiarly pointed out, by George Jackson, 12mo. 
Third Edition, with a eolouredfrontispieee qfthe " Sedes Butbeiana," 6d 

^robdtn'al Biulttt^ of englanli. 

Bibliographical List of all the Works which have 

been published towards illustrating the Provincial Dialects of England, by 
John Russell Smith, post 8yo.1« 
** Very serviceable to such as prosecute the study of our proTincial dialects, or are 
ooltecting works on that curious subject. We rery cordially recomment it to notice." 

Metropolitan. 

An Historical Sketch of the Provincial Dialects 

of England, illustrated by numerous examples. Extracted from the ** Dic- 
tionary of Archaic and Provincial Words," by James O&cha&d Halli- 
WELL, 8yo. sewed, 2s 

Poems of Rural Life, in the Dorset Dialect, with a 

Dissertation and Glossary, by William Barnes, sscono sdition» en- 
larged AND CORRECTED, Foyal 12mo. cloth, lOs 
A fine poetic feeling is displayed through the Tarious pieces in this Tolume ; aooordfaog 
to some critics nothing has appeared equal to it since the time of Bums ; the * Gentle- 
man's Magatine' for Bee, 1844, gave-a review of the flnt edition some pages in Imgtfa. 

A Glossary of Provincial Words and Phrases in use 

in Wiltshire, showing their Derivation in numerous instances from the 
Language of the Anglo-Saxons, by John Yonge Akirman, Esq. F.S.A., 
12mo. cloth, Zs 

The Vocabulary of East Anglia, ^n attempt to 

record the vulgar tongue of the twin sister Counties, Notfolk and Suffolk, 
as it existed in the last twenty years of the Eighteenth Century, and still 
exists ; with proof of its antiquity from Etymology and Authority, by the 
Rev. R. FoRBY, 2 vols. postSvo.ctoM, 12« (original price £1. Is) 

Westmoreland and Cumberland Dialects, Dialogues, 

Poems, Songs, and Ballads, by various Writers, in the Westmoreland and 

Cumberland Dialects, now first collected, to which is added, a Copious 

Glossary of Words peculiar to those Counties, post 8vo. pp. 408, cloth, 9« 

This collection comprises, in the Wntmortiand Dialeett Mrs. Ann Wheeler's Four 

Pomiliar Dialogues, with Poems, tec \ and in the Cumherlandt Vialeetf I. Poems and 

Pastorals by the Rev. Josiah Belph ; II. Pastorals, tec, by Ewan Claik ; III. Letters fh»n 

Dublin by a young Borrowdale Sh^herd, by Isaac Bitson; lY. Poems by John Stagr; 

i« by Marie Lonsdale ; TI. Ballads and Songs by Bobert Anderson, the QniwVitn 

iing tonu nowjlrst printed) ; YII. Songs by Misa Blamire and Miss GUpIn ; 

by John Rayson ; IX. An EztensiTO Glossary of Westmoreland and Cumbsr^ 



John Ruwell Smith j A, Old Compton Street ^ Soho. 5 

Specimeps of Cornish Provincial Dialects, collected 

and arranged by Unde Jan Treenoodle, with some Introductory Remarkg 
and a Glossary by an Antiquarian Friend, also a Selection of Songs and 
other Pieces connected with Cornwall, post Svo. with eurioua portrait of 
JDoUy Pentreathf cloth, is 

Exmoor Scolding and Courtship in the Propriety 

and Decency of Exmoor (Devonshire) Language, with Notes and a GloS" 
nary, post Sfvo. 12th edition, Is 6d 

" A Tery rich bit of West of EnglBadiaa,"'' Metropolitan, 

The Yorkshire Dialect, exemplified in various Dia- 
logues, Tales, and Songs, applicable to the County, with a Glossary, post 

8y6. 1* 
" A. shilling book worth its money; most of tho pieoM of compotition are not only 
luuii^^, but good and pretty. The eclogue on the death of ' Awd I}ai'>y," an outwoni 
hon^^ i/i an outpouring of some of the best feelings of the rustic mind; and the adidrea^s to 
riqlyes^d jpoverty have much of the freedom and spirit of Bwns." 

Gmt.*s Magazine, May, 1841. 

ACpUection of Fugitive Pieces in the Dialect of 

jZwinm^rzet, edited by J^ O. Halliweli^, post Svo. only b^ printed, 2s 

Dick and Sal, or Jack and Joan's Fair, a Doggrel 

Poem, xfi the Kentish Dialect, 3rd edition, 12mo. 6<f 

Jan Cladpole's Trip to 'Merrieur in Search for Dollar 

TVees, and how he got vidi eoongfa to b€^ \m way h9in« ! wntten in Sussex 
Doggerel, 12mo. W 

John Noakes and Mary Styles, a Poem, exhibiting 

wm€ ^the most striking lingual localisms peculiar to Essex, with a Glos- 
sary^ by Charles Clark, Eaq* of Gkreat Totham Ha^, Essex, post 8vo. 
cloth, 2s 
*<The poem poesesaes considerable hQipotvr."—Tat7'< Mag." A verj pleasant trifle." 
lAt, Qaz* ** A wry cleyer production.''— £r««x Lit. Journal, Pu]l of rich humour."— 
JStSfjf Mercury. ** Very droW*— Metropolitan. " Exhibits the dialect of Eeses per- 
fectly."— £!(;/eceic Reviem. " Full of quaint wit and humour."— Gfeni.'t ilffl^. May ll41. 
** A veiy cleyer and fnuising pieee of local description.'' — Archesologiet. 

Grose's (Frgtqcis, F.S^A.) Glossary of Provincial 

«Bd Local Woods used in England, with wbich is now first incorporated 
the SuppLKMENT by Samuel PEciGEy F.S.A*» post Svo. elegantly printed, 
cloth. As M 

The utility of a Provincial Glossary to all parsons desirous of understanding our 
ancient Poets is so universally acknowledged, that to enter into a proof of it would be 
entirely a work of sqpererogation. Grose and Pegge are constantly referred to in Todd's 
** Johnson's Dictionary." 

The Druidical Temples of the County of Wilts, by 

the Rev. E. Dukb, M.A., F.S.A., Member of the Arch^ogical Institate, 

&c.^ Author of Uie " Hall of John Halle/' and other works, 12mo. plates, 

cloth, 5s 

" Jit, Ottke has been long honourably known as a sealous cultivator of our local 

antiquities. His oolleetions on this «iMect» and on the literature of Wiltshire, are nowhere 

. surpaised ; while his resid^oe on tiie borders of the Plain, and within reacii of our mo»t 

interesting lemains, has afforded scope io his meritorious exertions. The work before us it 

(heihilt of long siody and laborious investigation."— £a/t«&ury JoumaU 



6 John Russell Smith, 4, Old Campion Street, Soho, 

An Archaeological Index to Remains of Antiquity 

' of the Celtic, Romano-British and Anglo-Saxon Periods, by John Yonge 
Akbrman, F.S.Am in 1 vol. 8vo. illustrated with numerous engramings, 
comprising upward qffive hundred objects, cloth, \bs 

This work, though Intended as an introduction and a guide to the stady of our early 
antiquities, will it Is hoped also prove of service, as a boolc of reference to the {waetised 
Archoologist. The contents are as follows : 

Part I. Cbltic Pxrios.— Tumuli, or Barrows and Cairns.— Cromledui. — Sepulchral 
Cares.— Booking Stones.— Stone Circles, etc. etc.— Otgects discovered in Celtic Sepulcfait^. 
— Urns.— Beads.— Weapons. — Implements, etc. 

Part II. RoxAiro-BaiTiSH Pbriod.— Tumuli of the Boman-British Period.— 
Burial Places of the Romans.— Pavemenis.—Camps.—Tilla8.— Sepulchral Monuments. 
•~6epulchral Inscriptions.— Dedicatory Inscriptions. — Commemorative Inacriptioos.— 
Altars.— Urns.— Glass yefl8els.—Fibulfle.—Armillae.»Coins.— Coin-Moulds, etc etc. 

Part III. Akolo-Saxon Pbriod.— Tumuli.— Detailed List of Objects discOrerrd 
in Anglo-Saxon Barrows.— Urns.— Swords.— Spears.— Knives. — Umbones of Shields. — 
BuoklM.— FibulflB.— BullSB. — Hair Pins. — Beads etc. etc. etc. etc. 

The Itin BRART of AvTOKiirus (as far as relates to Britain). The Gec^raphieal Tables 
of PtoiiBIIT, the Notxtia, and the Itivbrart of Bicbars of Cirbhcestbr, together 
with a classified Index of the contents of the Argh.solooia (Vols. i. to xxxi.) are gKren 
in an Appendix. 

Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire, and the 

Sepulchral Usages of its Inhabitants, from the most remote ages to the 
Bdformation, by Thomas Batemak, Esq. of Yolgrave, 8yo. prq/msefy 
illustrated with woodcuts, cloth, 15« 

Notitia Britanniaa, or an Inquiry concerning the 

Localities, Habits, Condition, and Progressive Civilization of the Abori- 
gines of Britain ; to which is appended a brief Retrospect of the Results of 
their Intercourse with the Romans, by W. D. Saui^l, F.S.A., F.G.S., &c. 
Bvo. engravings, 3« 6d 

A Verbatim Report of the Proceedings at a Special 

General Meeting of the British Archeeological Association, held at the Theatre 
of the Western Library Institution, 5Ui March, 1845, T. J. Pettigrew in 
the Chair. With an Introduction by Thomas Wright, 8vo. sewed, ls6d 
A taccinct history of the dirlsion between the Archeeological Association and Instltote. 

British Archgeological Association. — A Report of 

the Proceedings and Excursions of the Members of the British Archaeolo- 
gical Association, at the Canterbury Session, Sept. 1844, by A. J. Dvk- 

KIN, thick 8vo. with many engravings, cloth, £1, Is 
" The volume contains most of the papers entire that were read at ttie Meeting, and 
revised by the authors. It will become a scarce book as only ISO were printed ; and it 
forme the first yearly volume of the Archseological Association, or the Arcbaeologieal 
Institute." 

Coins of the Romans relating to Britain, Described 

and Illustrated, by J. Y. Akerman, F.S.A., Secretary to the Numismatic 
Society, &c. Second edition, greatly enlarged^ 8vo. withpkUes and wood' 
cuts, lOs 6d 
The " Prix de Numismatique" has just been awarded by the French Institute to the 
author for this work. 

** Mr. Akerman's volume contains a notice of every known variety, with oopioot 
illustrations, and is published at yery moderate price; it should be consulted, not merriy 
for these particular coins, but also for facts most valuable to all who are interested in tt« 
Bomano-Brltish higtoTj.'*—Ar{^aological Journal. 

Ancient Coins of Cities and Princes, Geographically 

arranged and described, Hispania, Gallia, Britannia, by J. Y. Akbb- 
MAN, F.S.A., 8vo; with engravings of many hundred cotiu Jrom aetwl 
'^fomplee, cloth, I8s 



John Russeli Smiihf 4, Old Cotnpton Sireet, Soho» f 

Numismatic Illustrations of the Narrative Portions 

of the New Testament, fine paper, numerous woodcuts Jrom the original 
coins in various public and private collections, 1 vol. Svo. cloth, bs 6d 

Lectures on the Coinage of the Greeks and Romans, 

delivered in the University of Oxford, by Edward Cardwell, D.IX, 
Principal of St. Alban's Hall, and Professor of Ancient History, Svo. cloth, 
reduced from 8« 6<l to As 
A very interesting historical volume, and written in a pleasing and popular manner. 

Essay on the Numismatic History of the Ancient 

Kingdom of the East Angles, by D. H. Haioh, royal Svo. h plates, con* 
taining numerous figures ^ coins, sewed, 6s 

A Hand- Book of English Coins, from the Conquest 

to Victoria, by L. Jbwitt, 12mo. II plates, cloth, Is 

J^tvnDit^ anil Copojpratil^^^ 

The Curiosities of Heraldry, with Illustrations from 

Old English Writers, by Mark Antont Lower, Author of ** Essays 
on English Surnames ;" with Illummated Title-page, and numerous engravr 
mgsfrom designs by the Author, Svo. cloth, gules, e^ppropriately oma- 
mented, or, lis 

"The present volume is truly a worthy sequel (to the 'Subitaxbs') in the same 
cnrious and antiquarian line, blending with remarkable facts and intelligence, such a fi^, 
of amiuittg anecdote and illustration, that the reader is almost surprised to find that he has' 
learnt so much, whilst he appeared to be pursuing mere entertainment. The text is eo 
pleasing that we scarcely dream of its sterling value ; and it seems as if, in unison with the 
woodcuts, which so cleverly ex]dain its points and adorn its various topics, the whole 
design were intended for a relaxation from study, rather than an ample exposition of an 
extraordinary and universal custom, which produced the most important effect upon the 
minds and habits of mankind." — Literary Oazette. 

** Mr. Lower's work is both curious and instructive, while the manner of Its treatment 
Is so inviting and jiopular, that the subject to which it refers, which many have hitherto 
had too good reason to consider meagre and unprofitable, assumes, under the hands of the 
writer, the novelty of fiction with the importance of historical truth."— A<A«n«um. 

English Surnames. A Series of Essays on Family 

Nomenclatarey Historical, Etymological, and Humorous ; with Chapters 
on Canting Arms, Rebuses, and the Roll of Battel Abb^, a List of Latin- 
ized Sumame», Sec, by Mark Antony Lower. The third ediiianf 
enlarged, 2 vols, post 8vo. with woodcuts, cloth, I2s 
To those who are curious about their patronymic, it will be found a very instmetive 

and amusing volume— mingling wit and pleasantry, with antiquarian research and 

historical interest. 

An Index to the Pedigrees and Arms, contained ' 

in the Heralds' Visitations, in the British Museum, alphabetically arranged 
in Counties, Svo. JTn the press. 

An indispensable work to tho«e engaged in Genealogical and Topographical punuits, 
affording a ready clue to the Pedigrees and Arms of nearly 30,000 of the Gentry of 
England, their Residences, jcc. (distinguishing the different families of the same name in 
any county), as recorded by the Heralds in itheir Visitations between the years 1538 to 1086. 

History and Antiquities of the Ancient Poii; and 

Town of Rye in Sussex, compiled from Original Documents, by William 
HoLLowAY, Esq., thick Sto. only 200 printed, cloth, £l.^^le- 



8 jQhn RiuseU Smithf i, Old Compion Street^ Saho, 

Pedigr^s of the Nobility wd Gentry of IJertfbrd- 

. flhire, by Wili^iam Beuy^ late axxd for fifteen yean Reg:i8tmiig Clerk in 
the College of Anns, Author of the ** Encyclopaedia Her^ca," &c. &c. 
foUo, (only 125 printed), 6<f«. £^. 10«, reduced to £\. he 

A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Extinct 

and Dormant Baronetdes of England, Ireland and Sco0and, by J. Burks, 

Esq. medium 8yo. Second Edition, 638 closely jprinie4 pagee, in dottle 

eelunme wiih about liMO armfmgritoedouwoodf/ine portrait qf J amb% 1., 

and illuminated titU^page^ extra cloth, £l, Ss reduced to IQe 

This work, which has engaged the attention of the Authors Ibraeveral years, eomiMises 

nearlT a tboivand families, many of them amongst the most ancient and eminent in the 

kingdom, each carried down to its representative or representatires still existing, with 

elaborate and minute details of the alliances, achieyements, and fortunes, generatioB ^fler 

generation, from Ibe earliest to the latest {>eriod. The work is printed to oonrespond 

precisely with the last edition of Mr. Burl^e's Dictionary of the Existing Peerage and 

Baronetage : the armorial bearings are «Dgrayed in the best c^Ie, jand fuw Ineoirpocated 

with the text as in that work. 

History and Antiquities of Dartfbrd i» Kent, with 

Incidental Notices of Places in its Neighbourhood, by J. ^Sunkin, Author 
of the ** History of Ihe Hundreds of Bullingten and Houghley in Oxford- 
shire J " History of Bicester ;" " History of Bromley," &c. 8vo, 17 piatee, 
cloth. Onli/ IbO printedf tie 

Historic Sites and other Remarkable and Interest- 
ing Places in the County of Suffolk, by John Woddeesfoon^ with Pre- 
:&tory Verses by Bernard Barton, Esq., and a Poetical Epilogue by a 
** IpluFFOLK YiLLAOBR.'' Improved editJKHEiy Jlne tooojicuta, post 8vo. 
pp. 232, closely printed, and eontaininy at much muUier as numy I2t 
volumes, cloth, only 4« 6^ 

Hi3tory of Banbury, in Oxfordshire, including 

Copious Historical and Antiqaarian Notices of the Neighbourhood, by 
Alfred Bsbslet, thick 8vo. 684 closely printed pages, wiih 60 woodcuts, 
engraved in ths first style qfartf by O. Jewitt, pf Oarford, (p«b. at £\. 5») 

now reduced to 14« 
" The neighbourliood of Banbury is equally rich ia British, Roman, Saxon, Norman, 
and English Antiquities, of all which Rf r. Beesley has given regularly cleared accounts. 
Banbury holds an important place in the history of tiie Pariiamentaiy War of the SeTea- 
teenth Century, and was the scene of the great Battle of Edgehin, and of the fnqwrtant 
fight of Cropredy Bridge. Relating to the events of that period, the aqtfaor has «>U«cted a 
great body of local information of the most interesting kind. By ao means tke least 
valuable port of Mr. Beesley's work, is his account of the numerous interesting early 
churches, which characterize the Banbury district."— 7^ Arehaologut, 
Odd Parts to complete copies, 1«. Qd, instead of S«. fid. 

History and Antiquities of the Isle of Axholnie, in 

l^incolnshire, by the Venerable Archdeacon Stonbhousb, thick 4to. 
FINE plates, reducedfrom jS3. 3« to 18« 

The Local Historian's Table- Book of Remarkable 

Oecurrences, Historical Facts, Traditions, Legendary and Descs^tiTC 
Ballads, &c. &c. connnected widi the Counties of Newcastle- on-Ttns, 
Northumrerland, and Durham, by M. A. Richardson, Koyal 8vo. 
projkteely illustrated with woodcuts, now complete in 8 tola, royai %90. 
cloth, 9s each, .or the Pivision^ sold sepanitdy as f(41owB : — 

Historical Division, 5 vols. Lboendart Division, S vols. 

•Hie lepndaiy portion wiil he fpund very interesting volumes by fliose wh^ take 
a« in the historical one. • 



Jtihn RusteU Smithy 4, Old Compion Street^ Soho, 9 

A. Critical Dissertation on Professor Willis's " Archi- 

'tectoral History of Canterbury Cathedral/' by C. Sandys, of Canterbury^ 

8yo. 2» 6d 
''Written in no quarrelsome or captious spirit: the highest compliment is paid to 
Professor Willis, where it is due. But the author has certainly made out a clear case, in 
some Tery important instances, of inaccuracies that have led the learned Professor into the 
ecvnstruction of serious errors throughout. It may he considered as an indispensable com- 
pa.iuon to his volume, containing a great deal of extra information of a very curious 
ki«d."— J.r<- Union, 

Bibliotheca Cantiana, a Bibliographical Account of 

what has been published on the History, Topography, Antiquities, Cus' 
toms, and Family Genealogy of the County of Kent, with Biographical 
Notes, by John Russell Smith, in a handsome Svo. volume, pp. 370, 
tffith two plates qf facnmUes of Autographs qf 33 eminent KentutAr 
Writers, I4s reduced to 58 — large paper, lOs 6d 

The History of the Town of Gravesend in Kent, 

and of the Port of London, by R. P. Cruden, late Mayor of Gravesend, 
TOjal Syo, S7 ^ne plates and woodcuts, a very handsome volume, cloth ^ 
1843, reduced from £l, Ss to lOs 

The Visitor's Guide to Knole House, near Seven 

Oaks in Kent, with Catalogue of the Pictures contained in the Mansion, a 
Genealogical History of tJ^e SackviUe Family, &c. &c. by J. H. B&adt, 
F.R.A.S., 12mo. 27 woodcuts hy Bonner, Sly, Sfc. cloth, As 6d, Large 
Paper, 10* 

Illustrations of Knole House, from Drawings by 

Bonner, Sly, &c. 8vo. 16 plates, with Descriptions, 5« 

Greenwich ; its History, Antiquities, and Public 

Buildings, by H. S. Richardson, 12mo.^ne woodcuts by Baxter, \s 6d 

The Folkestone Fiery Serpent, together with the 

Humours of the Dovor Mayor ; being an Ancient Ballad foil of Mystery 
and pleasant Conceit, now first collected and printed from the various MS. 
copies in possession of the inhabitants of the South-east coast of Kent, 
with Notes, 1 2mo. \s 

A Brief Account of the Parish of Stowting, in Kent, 

and of the Antiquities lately discovered there, by the Rev. F. Wrench » 
Rector, 8vo. three folding plates, etched by the Author, sewed, 2s 6d 

History of Portsmouth, Portsea, Landport, South- 
sea, and Gosport, by Henry Slight, Esq. 8vo. Third Edition, bds. As 

A Hand-Book to Lewes in Sussex, Historical and 

Descriptive, with Notices of the Recent Discoveries at the Priory, by Mark 
Antony Lower, 12mo. many engravings, cloth, 2s 

Chronicles of Pevensey in Sussex, by M. A. Lower, 

12mo. woodcuts. Is 

The Archaeologist and Journal of Antiquarian 

Sdence. Edited by J. O. Halliwbll, 8vo. Nos. I. to X. complete, with 
Index, pp. 490. with 19 engravings, cloth, reduced from lOs Mtobs^d 
^(mtaining original articles on Architecture, Historical Literature, Bound Toilers of 
^reland. Philology, Bibliography, Topography, Proceedings of the various Antiquarian 
Sodetiet, RetrotpectiYe Beyiews, and Beviewt of recent Antiquarian WorK«} &c* 



^0 John Rutteli Smtih^ 4, Old Compton Streti, SohO. 

Historia CoUegii Jesu Oatitabrigiensis a J. Sher- 

UASUO, olim pnes. ejxisdem Colkgii. Edita J. O. Halliwbix, 876. ci&ik,28 

History and Antiquities of the Hundred of Comp- 
ton, Berks, with Dissertatioiis on the Roman Station of CaUera Attre- 
batum, and the Battle of Ashdown, by W. HEWtlr, Job. Svo. 18 piate§t 
clothe Only 250 printed^ 159 — reduced tods 

Newcastle Tracts ; Reprints of Rare and Carious 

Tracts, chiefly illustrative Of the History of the Nortliera Coimties ; beauH" 

Jkilly printed in crown 8yb. on & fine thick pMpeTi with facsimile TUietf 

and other featuree charaeierietic oftheorigimatt* Onfy 100 eopiei printedf 

Nos. I. to XLIX. i'5. 5* 
Pnrchasen Are expected to tek« the sueoeedlug Tniels as publlihed ; the Series is oearix 
completed. 

A Journey to Beresford Hall, In Derbyshire, the 

Seat of Charles Cotton, Esq. the celebrated Author and Angler, by W. 
Alexandbb, F.S.A., F.L.S.^ late Keeper of the Prints in the British 
Museum, crown 4to. printed on tinted papery with a spirited /nrntiepiece^ 
repreeenting Walton and his adopted Son Cotton in thi Ftshing-housct and 
vignette tith'pags, eloth^ be 
Dedicated to the Anglers of Great Britain and the variouB Walton and Cotton Gu]»; 
only 100 printed. 

A New Life of Shakespeare, founded upon recently 

discovered Documents, by JXmbs Orchard Halliwell, F.R.S., P.S.A., 
with numerous illustrations of objects never before engraved^ from draw- 
ings by F. W. Fairholt^ F.S.A., in 1 vol. 8vo. c/oM, \^s 

An Introduction to Shakespeare's Midsummer 

Mg^t*8 Dream, by J. O. Halliwell, 8vo. cloth (250 jM*tn^ed), Ze 

An Account of the only known Manuscript of 

Shakspeare's Flaysy comprising some important variations and corrections 
in the Merry Wives of Windsor^ obtained froln a Playhouse copy of that 
Play recently discovered, by J. O. Halliwell, Bvo* sewed, Is 

On the Character of FalstaflP, as originally exhibited 

by Shakespeare in the two parts of King Henry lY., by J. O. Hallfwell, 
12mo. cloth f {only 100 printedf) 2s 

Shakesperiana, a Catalogue of the Early Editions of 

Shakespeare^s Flays, and of the Commentaries and oth&r Publications iUus- 
trative of his Works, by J. O. Halliwell, 8vo. cloth, 3« 
" Indispensable to ereiryhodj who wishes to carry on any inqniHes connected witli 
Shakespeare, or who may have a fancy fur Shakespearian BiUiiQgraphy." — Speetaiar^ 

England's Worthies, under whom all* the Civil 

and Bloody Wajfres, since Anno 1642 to Anno 1647, are related, by John 
Vicars, Author of ** England's Parliamentary Chronicle," &c. occ. royal 
12mo. reprinied in the old style, (similar to Lady Willoughby's Diary,) 
with copies qf the 18 rare portraits after Hollar ^ fyc, halfmorotco, 5» 
Copies of the original edition hate been sold from £16. to jeoo. 
♦««. « portraits comprise, Robert, Eart of Essex ; Robert, Earl of Wtirwicjc 5 LofdJIin- 

faf*'i?*Si?^'^®lW'.'^'''***'^'"™'^"*' ^^^ I^**y. General FairftK, Sir ThoroiiflL. 
lax, u. Cromwell, Skippon, Colonel Masaey, Sir W. Brereton. Sir W. Wall«r ^Scl 
i-anghome. General PoynU,8ir Hios. Middletoo, GenenOBrowli: and ^neSl£tt^ 



John Musaell Smith, 4, Old Comptfm Stre^ty 8oho, 11 

Autobiography of Joseph Lister, of Bradford, in 

Yorl^shire^ to which is added a contemporary account of the Defence of 
Bradford, and Capture of Leeds hy the ParHameatarians in 1642, edited by 
Xhqma&Wbioht, 8vo. only 250 copiea printed* cloiht. 4« 

Love Letters of Mrs. Piozzi, written when she was 

£igbty» to the handsome Actor, Wi^iam Ati|^tt9tiis Conway, aged Tweatj- 

8av>en> Svo. sewedt 2« 

«« written at three, four, and five o'clocTc (in the momingr) by an Octogenarjr pen, 

a heart (as Mrs. Lee says) twenty-six years old, and as U. L. P. feels it to be, a/| JfQW 
own.*' ^Letter Y, Zrd Feb. 1820. 

Collection of Letters on Scientific Subjects, illustra-' 

lajVQ of the Progress of Science in England temp. Elizabeth to Charles II. 

edited by J. O. Halliwell, %yo. clothe 3« 
Ck>mprising letters of Digges, Dee, Tycho Brahe, Lower, Harriott, Lydyat, Sir W. 
Petty, Sir C. Cavendish, Brancker. Pell , &x. ; also the autobiography of Sir Samuel 
Morland, from a MS. in Lambeth Palace, Nat^ Tlupoley's Corrector Analytlcus, &<v 
Coat tfae Babscribezs £1, 

A Rot among the Bishops ; or a Terrible Tempest 

in the Sea of Canterbury, set forth in lively emblems to please the judicious 
Reader, by Thomas Stirry, 1641, 18mo. (a taiire on Abp. Laudt) four 
very curious woodcut emblems^ clothe 3» 
A facsimile of the very rare original editioiv vl^ch sold at Blndley's sale ibr £18. 

Bibliotheca Madrigaliana. — A Bibliographical Ac- 
count of the Musical and Poetical Works published in En^and during the 
Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries* under tlie titles of Madrigals, Ballets, 
A3rres, CfmaonetSy &c. &o. by Edward F. Rimbault, LL.D., F.S«A., 8to. 

ciothf h9 

It records a class of books left undescribed by Ames, Herbert, and Dibdin,. and 
famishes a most valuable Catalogue of tfae Lyriool- Poetry of the age to which it ref^s. 

Who was *' Jack Wilsou" tllQ Singer of Shake- 
speare's Stage ? An attempt to prove the identity of this person with John 
Wilson, Dr. of ^fusick in the University of* Oxfbrd, A.n. 1644, by E. F. 
RiMBAULT, LL.D; 8vo. \a 

popular ^etr^^ J^tortesi^ anH g^txitiiit^vxi^ 

The Nursery Rhymes of England, collected chiefly 

from Oral Tradition, edited by J. O. HALLiiirE.^L. The Fourth Edition, 
enlarged, with 38 Designs by W. B. Scott, Dir^etor of the School qf 
Desiffnt Neweastle-on-Tynef 12mo. in very richly illuminated cloth^gilt 
■ leaves^ 49 6d # 

** Illustrations 1 And hare they are ; clever pictures, wbioh tiifr three-year olds under- 
stand before their A, B, C. and which the fifty-three-year olds like almost as well as the 
threes." — Literary Gazette. 

*' We are persuaded that the very rudest of these Jingles, tales, and rhymes, possess 
a strong iraa^natlon-noarishing power; and that in infancy and early childhood a 
sprinkling .of anient nursery lor« is worth whole cartloads of the wise saws and modem 
instances which are nQ«( as duly ami carefully concocted by experienced litterateurs, into 
instructive tales for the spelling publir, as are works of en^rtainment for the reading public. 
The work is worthy of the attention of the popular antiquary."— 7VUt'« Mag. 

Wonderful Discovery of the Witchcrafts of Margaret 

and Philip Flojver, daughters of Joan Flower, near Bever (Belvoir), ej^ecuted 
ak« Lincoln for confessing themselves actors, in the destruction of Lotrd 
Rosse, son of the Earl of Rutland, 1618, 8vo. U 

One of the most extraordinary cases of Witchcraft on record. 



12 John Ruueii Smithf 4, Old Compttm Street, Soho. 

Saint Patrick's Purgatory; an Essay on the 

Legends of Hell, Purgatoryi and Paradise, current daring liie Middle Ages, 
by Thomas Wright, M.A., F.S.A., &c. post 8yo. cloth, 6» 
" It mast be obaerred that thit it not a mere acoount of St. Patrick's Pargafoiy, bat a 
complete history of the legends and saperstitloDS relating to the subject, Arom the earljei^ti 
times, rescued from old MSS. as well as from old printed books. Moreover, it embraces a 
singular chapter of literary history, omitted by Warton and all former writers with whom 
we are acquainted ; and we think we may add, that it forms the best introduction to DanU;! 
that has yet been published."— Z<iterary Gttzette. 

" This appears to be a curious and even amusing book on the singular subject of Pur- 
gatory, in which the idle and fearful dreams of superstition are shown to be iirst narrat<^l 
as tales, and then applied as means of deducing the moral character of the age in which 
they prevailed."— Sp«?<a«<w», 

Trial of the Witches at Bury St. Edmunds, before 

Sir M. Hale, 1664, with an Appendix by Chablbs Clabk, of Totham, 

Essex, 8vo. It 
" The most perfect narrative of anything of this nature hitherto extant."— JPr^^^«. 

Account of the Trial, Confession, and Condemnation 

of Six Witches at Maidstone, 1652 ; also the Trial and Execution of Three 

others at Faversham, 1645, 8to. la 

These Transactions are unnoticed by all Kentish^ historians. 

An Essay on the Archaeology of our Popular 

Phrases and Nursery Rhymes, by H. B. Ker, 2 vols. 12mo. new cloth, 4i 

(pub. at 12s) 
▲ work whidi has met with great abuse among the reviewen^but those who are fbnd of 
philological pursuits will read it now it is to be had at so very moderate a price, and it really 
contains a good deal of gossiping matter. The author's attempt is to explain every thing 
from ibe Dutch, which he believes was the same language as tlie Anglo-Saxon. 

The Merry Tales of the Wise Men of Gotham, 

edited by James Orchard HallfwelLi Esq. F.S.A., post 8vo. Is 

j 

Illustrations of Eating, displaying the Omnivorous 

Character of Man, and exhibiting the Natives of Tarious Countries at 
fee^ing-thne, by a Beef-Eater, fcap. 8yo. tptth woodevta, 2s 

Elements of Naval Architecture, being a Translation 

of the third part of Clairbois' ** Traits EUmentair6 de la Construction 
des Vaisseaux,^' by J. N. Strange, Commander, R.N., 8vo. tpith 5 large 
/olding platee, cloth, 5« 

Poems, partly of Rural Life (in National English), 

by William Barnes, Author of ** Poems in the Dorset Dialect," 12mo. 
doth, be 

Waifs and Strays (a Collection of Poetry), 1 2mo. 

only 2h0 printed, chiefly Jbr presents, sewed, Is 6d 

Facts and Speculations on the History of Playing 

Cards in Europe, by W. A. Chatto, Author of the • History of Wood 
Engraving, with Ulustrations by J. Jackson/ 8vo. profuse^ iUtutrated 
ufith engravings, both plain and coloured, cloth, £1. !« 
<* It is exceedingly amusing." — AtUu. " Indeed the entire production deserret our 

wannest approbati<m."-^X«if. Gaz, ** A perfect Aind of antiquarian f ss oa r ch , antbinosi 

interesting even to persons who never plaj at cards." — Tait's Mag. 

a, nORlTAN, PBXMTBB, XCAIOBV XAKB, COTBJIT OABDBK. 



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